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76 Nassau Street. 



Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1859, in the 

Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, 

for the Northern District of California. 

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1859, in the 

Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, 

for the Southern District of New York. 

L. Rausee, Printer, 8 North William Street. 




Do you believe in Ghosts ? 5 

Are you a Spiritist ? 6 

Were you ever Mesmerized ? 6 

These Things not all a Humbug 8 

Necessity of an Explanatory Theory 9 

Newton Studying Chemistry 9 

The Student of Od compared to Newton 11 

Biographical Sketch of Reichenbach 12 

Reichenbach as Author and Scientific Investigator 15 

The Assailants of Od 15 

Reichenbaclfs Sensitives 16 

Author's Preface 17 

LETTER I.— Sensitive Persons. 

Yellow-Haters and Blue-Lovers 19 

Dislike for Mirors 20 

Other Singularities 21 

Connection between those Singularities 22 

LETTER II. — Experiments with Crystals. 

Tou have found a Sensitive ? 24 

The Sensitive feels a breath from a Quartz Crystal ? 24 

The Sensitive sees a Light from Quartz Crystal 25 

These Phenomena not caused by Heat or Electricity 27 

LETTER III.— The Od of Light. 

Sunlight is Cold to the Sensitive 28 

Connection Between the Odic Sensations of Touch and Light. . 29 

Od Discovered by the Taste 30 

Od in Moonlight . .' 31 

LETTER IV.— Magnetism. 

"Why these Letters are called Odic-Magnetic 32 

Magnets are Luminous in the Dark 33 

Distinctions between Od and Magnetism 35 

LETTER V.— Animal Magnetism. 

Animals and Plants visible in the Dark . , 36 

The Odic Light of Men 37 

The Right and Left Odic Sensations of Touch 38 

LETTER VI. — Man as a Producer of Od. 

The Odic Sensations of Touch Continued 39 

Why the Post of Honor is at the Right 41 

LETTER VII.— Mesmerism. 

Mesmerism, the Therapeutic Application of Od 42 

Experiment with Magnetic Passes 43 

The Value of Od as a Therapeutic Agent 44 


LETTER YIIL— Chemical Action. P a e* 

The name Animal Magnetism Discarded 46 

The Od of Effervescing and Fermenting Fluids 47 

The Od from Decomposing Corpses 49 

LETTER IX. — Od Developed by Sound and Friction. 

Experiments with Glasses and Bells 51 

Experiments with Friction 52 

Sourcier, the famous Water-Finder 54 

LETTER X.— The Od of Heat and Electricity. 

The Sensitive gets cold before a Fire 54 

Experiments with Electricity 55 

The Odic Lights and Colors of Metals 57 

Od Pervades" the whole Universe 58 

LETTER XL— Common Odic Influences. 

Disagreeable Effects of Mirrors and Pewter Spoons 59 

The Theory of Treasure-Seekers 60 

Importance of Od in Mining 61 

Sensitiveness Susceptible of Cultivation 62 

LETTER XII.— The Discharge and Transfer of Od. 

Dischargibility of Od 62 

Od discharged with the Breath 64 

Conductibi'lity of Od 66 

LETTER XIIL— Odic Dualism. 

Dual Opposition throughout Nature 67 

The Od-Ohemical Order 67 

Odic Polaritv of Various Substances 69 

The Odic Polarity of Magnetism, Light Friction, &c, &c 69 

The Odic Polarity of the Animal Frame 70 

The Od-polar Opposition of the two Sexes 71 

LETTER XIY. — Odic Light and its Spectrum. 

An Odic Rainbow 72 

Experiments with the Light from a Magnet 73 

Experiments with a Terrel 75 

LETTER XV. — Terrestrial Od. 

Od and the Cardinal Points 76 

Why People sleep on their Right Sides 77 

The Odic Polarity of Man Lengthwise 78 

The ( 'aiise of Swooning in Church : 79 

The Position of Furniture 80 

LETTER XVI. — Conduction, Radiation, and Conclusion. 

The Speed of Odic Condcution 81 

Etymology of Od 84 

1 lad Nature but given us Sense for Od 84 

Supplementary Remarks by the Translator 85 


Do you believe in Ghosts ? 

Did you ever see a ghost ? At least some of your 
familiar acquaintances have seen them. Many persons 
whom you know by name have seen them ; very 
respectable people too, serious, honest, sensible and 
stoat-hearted as men need be. The old belief in 
ghosts is cherished by many of those whom you meet 
every day in society ; perhaps they are ashamed to 
confess it, but they still have the belief, and if you 
get them in a confidential humor and approach them 
in the right manner, you may hear some of them tell 
very strange things. Did you ever read Mrs. Crowe's 
Night Side of Nature? and Stilling's Pneamatology? 
They are earnest pleas for the doctrine of ghosts ; or 
rather they are collections of ghost stories, interspersed 
with a few arguments to defend the truth and genuine- 
ness of the stories. Stilling was a devout and much 
esteemed German author, a friend of Goethe. Mrs. 
Crowe is a lady of excellent standing in society and 
a novellist of reputation. 

There are even ghosts which figure in the pages 
of history. An invisible counsellor and warning voice 
constantly attended Socrates, who called it his daimon 
or guardian angel. The excarnate soul of Caesar ap- 
peared to Brutus and promised to meet him at Phi- 
lippi. Joan of Arc was induced by angels, dressed 
in flowing robes and wearing crowns, to save her 


country, and they attended her and gave her counsel 
constantly from that time forward. The biographer 
of Tasso says that poet had an invisible friend and 
companion, in whose company he delighted. Sweclen- 
borg and Oberlin also saw spirits and talked with 
them, and loved their society. 

Are you a Spiritist? 
What do you think of Spiritism ? You will prob- 
ably reply: "There are some very strange things 
about it, but I do not believe that spirits have any- 
thing to do with it." If you say "All the alleged 
manifestations are tricks," I shall think you had not 
investigated the question seriously. You know that 
the number of the avowed Spiritists in the United 
States exceeds a million ; that they are mostly in- 
telligent and all of them truth-seeking people ; and 
that their mediums who have direct communication 
with spirits, number more than twenty thousand. You 
certainly are acquainted with many spiritists whom 
you respect. I shall not suspect you of having read 
many of the books of the Spiritists. If you have read 
them I doubt whether you have profited much from 
them, for the Spiritists generally put too little fact and 
too much empty declamation and illogical inference in 
their writings. They are too anxious to theorize ; if 
they would take care of the facts, the theory would 
take care of itself. Capron {Modern Spiritualism ; 
Its Facts and Fanaticisms) is perhaps the best of 
them. Have you heard that "manifestations" very 
similar to the so-called spirit-manifestations now so 
common in the United States were common in China 
about NingpO as early as 1844? 

Were you ever Mesmerized? 

Do you know anything about mesmerism? Cer- 
tainly you have seen men' said to be in the mesmeric 


state, making themselves ridiculous before an auditory, 
submitting to have pins stuck into their arms without 
wincing, and doing acts which astonished you. Per- 
haps, besides seeing mesmeric experiments, you have 
read something about mesmerism. You mav have 
wondered while perusing Mrs. Anna Cora Mowatt's 
Autobiography whether she really tells the truth about 
how, when in mesmeric somnambulism, she foreknew 
the times when her health would improve and grow 
worse. Do you know the history of the Seeress of 
Provorst as told by Justinus Kerner, the German 
physician and poet ? Have you read, Truth in Popu- 
lar Superstitions by Dr. Herbert Mayo, the works 
of James Braid, Hypnotism and Trance, and the 
books of Townsheud, Gregory, Lang, Deieuze, Du- 
potet, Teste, Esdaile, Colquhon, Eiliotson, and Enne- 
moser on Animal Magnetism ? They are all well 
worth reading, and to me, not only entertaining but 
absolutely fascinating. Perhaps you have read the 
article on anaesthetics in the Westminister Review for 
January 1859, and the remarks on mesmerism in 
Carpenter's Human Physiology: these too, deserve 
examination. Probably you are aware that Laplace, 
Cuvier, Hufeland, and Sir Wm. Hamilton did, and 
that Agassiz and Professor Edward Hitchcock do, be- 
lieve in Mesmerism. 

Of course, like everybody else you have heard much 
of natural somnambulism. There are somnambulists 
in every country, and in these eases there is no sus- 
picion of deception, because there is little motive for 
trickery. They do not wish to establish a theory or 
make money out of their peculiar condition, but look 
upon it as a disease and wish to get rid of it as soon 
as possible. Double-conscionsness, Trance, Catalepsy 
— you can read something of them in Wigand's Du- 
ality of the Mind. They are all akin to the isms 
mentioned above. 

8 translator's introduction. 

These things not all a Humbug. 

Do not misunderstand me. I do not mean to say 
that spiritism, mesmerism, and the doctrine of ghosts, 
are true ; but it may safely be asserted that there is 
something true about them. The alleged phenomena 
are not altogether the creations of hallucination and 
deception ; many of them are genuine facts, perhaps 
misrepresented and exaggerated, but nevertheless act- 
ual, although it becomes a reasonable man to listen 
with grave and stubborn skepticism to such stories as 
are told by the spiritists and mesmerists ; yet you 
will perceive that the probabilities in favor of the 
trustworthiness of their reports are greatly increased 
when two separate and hostile schools of theorists base 
their doctrines on the same alleged phenomena. But 
here there are more than two schools ; there are the 
spiritists, mesmerists and believers in ghosts ; and 
their fundamental facts are in some important par- 
ticulars the same with those of the unquestioned phe- 
nomena of natural somnambulism, trance and double 
consciousness. It needs no argument to convince 
you that any phenomenon which deserves credit when 
reported as arising in natural somnambulism, must 
not be rejected when it appears in spiritism or mes- 
meric somnambulism unless some reason, very differ- 
ent from any hitherto offered, be given for making the 
distinction. The more you read about these abnormal 
states to which I have referred, the more cause you 
will have to wonder at the strange nature of humanity, 
and at the singular manner in which its powers may 
be manifested; and the more cause you will have to 
believe that there are in our constitution many things 
not dreamed of, or at least not accounted for, in our 
standard works on physiology and psychology. 


Necessity of an Explanatory Theory. 

So much is said about these things that they are 
forced on your attention and you must have some 
theory about them. The human mind is so con- 
stituted that it loves to know the causes of things. 
Intelligent men feel restless and dissatisfied when they 
cannot find some general principle to account for the 
phenomena occuring around them. All the alleged 
facts of spiritism and the kindred branches come within 
the domain of physiology ; but if you will examine 
the standard works on that science, you will find little 
about them and no attempt to account for them or ex- 
plain them by natural laws. They are either ignored 
or treated as anomalous, contrary to all known laws. 
You may have heard that the spirit-manifestations 
are the work of the devil, but I shall not suspect you 
of having adopted that miserable subterfuge for not 
giving a fair welcome to facts admitted to be true. 
You know and reverence the scientific principles that 
every phenomenon discoverable by the natural senses 
is governed by an invariable natural law ; and that 
man does not and dare not despair of discovering the 
law of every fact within the range of his perception. 

I shall assume then, that you wish to study the 
laws of these strange facts of spiritism, mesmerism, 
natural somnambulism, etc. ; and as an aid in your 
studies, I ask your attention to the O die- Magnetic 
Letters of Eeichenbach, the only man who has taken 
up any of these phenomena in the strict scientific 
method and pursued the investigation to an important 
scientific result. 

Newton Studying Chemistry. 

Newton died in 1726, and chemistry was not born 
till oxygen was discovered, fifty years later. Let us 
suppose that Newton's body and soul were now re- 


10 translator's introduction. 

called to life and brought back to earth, with the same 
store of knowledge and the same mental capacity, but 
ignorant of all that has passed on earth since his 
death. Let us suppose further that immediately after 
his return to consciousness, he should be placed alone 
in a room where all his material wants should be sup- 
plied as they might have been in 1725, without his 
having an opportunity to see or hear anything to in- 
dicate that important changes had been made in the 
useful arts in consequence of chemical discoveries. 
Let us suppose further that he should rind in his room 
a well written history of the science of chemistry by 
the ablest chemists of our time, giving a minute re- 
cord of all the great discoveries of that science, and 
the almost numberless experiments by which those 
discoveries had been tested, countertcsted and con- 
firmed. The mind of the astonished philosopher, as 
he would read how all the common objects of nature 
about us, have been decomposed, how water is made 
by the union of two gases, and common clay chiefly 
of gases and metals, how diamond and charcoal are 
the same substance in different forms, how flesh and 
blood have been analyzed and found to consist chiefly 
of such materials a^ we find in air, water and char- 
coal, — at reading all the particulars of these and the 
thousand other equally curious facts, the mind of the 
sage would be filled with wonder and astonishment, 
and innumerable thoughts of how these discoveries 
must prove of the utmost importance in human life, 
and be infinitely interlaced with the useful arts on 
which a large part of the comfort of civilized life de- 
pends. We have supposed, however, that the resur- 
rected philosopher should have no means of knowing 
anything about the truthfulness of these alleged dis- 
coveries, save the statements and style of the history 
itself. Doubt would necessarily arise in his mind, 
and he would reconsider the main purport of all that 


he had read, but he would conclude that the book 
must be true ; that so much seriousness, so much 
talent, so much learning, so much familiarity with 
the spirit of scientific induction, and so much re- 
gard for its strictest rules, could neither have been 
wasted in a book merely intended to amuse or delude 
the curious, nor have been found in a man, who 
could write such a work in the full belief that it was 
all true ; when as a matter of fact it was all false. 
The revived philosopher would emphatically declare 
that, wonderful as the alleged discoveries were, it 
would be still more wonderful — far more wonderful — 
if that book and all its alleged discoveries were false. 

The Student of Od compared to Newton. 

The ordinary man who reads Reichenbach is in a 
condition similar to that of the imaginarily revived 
Newton ; he finds a record of a vast number of facts 
reported as having been ascertained by very careful 
investigation ; but the reader cannot verify these ex- 
periments by repeating them himself. Only a few 
persons can perceive the sensations caused by od, and 
those few are not ordinary but extraordinary persons. 
So the reader being unable to perceive the odic phe- 
nomena by his own senses, must take the say-so of 
another, and this other may not be easily found ; and 
after he is found the experiments are many of them 
not easily made. It was with thoughts similar in 
kind, if not in degree, to those which I might ascribe 
to the revived Newton, in the imagined case, that I, 
comparing small things with great, have perused the 
books of lieichenbach, and read how he claims to have 
discovered A new force of nature, and to have 
traced it through the universe ; to have found it per- 
vading our bodies and all material objects about us, 
exercising a powerful influence on us at every moment 
of our lives, and showing itself in thousands of forms. 


And like the astonished philosopher, I too am ready 
to declare that strange and wonderful as Reichenbaclf s 
assertions are, it is far more probable that they are 
true than that >Jhey should be false. But whether 
true or false, is not yet finally determined, and per- 
haps will not be for many years to come ; and until 
the question be settled, Reichenbach and his theory 
must be the subjects of frequent discussion, and occupy 
a large place in the learned world. And even admitt- 
ing that his theory were false, it would still deserve 
the close attention of men of letters, as the most re- 
markable delusion or sham, ever heard in tiie domains 
of science. In any case it is worthy of examination. 

Biographical sketch of Reichenbach. 

Baron Charles Reichenbach, or as he calls himself 
in German " Carl Freiherr von Reichenbach," was 
born in Stuttgard, in 1788, and is consequently now 
71 years of age. He is still strong and active, men- 
tally and physically. He received a good education, 
and after arriving at the years of manhood, entered 
extensively into the business of smelting iron and 
burning charcoal, in both of which branches he intro- 
duced important improvements, and made much 
money. He also became eminent as a chemist, and 
was reckoned among the great scientific men of Ger- 
many. Among his discoveries were creosote, paraffin, 
assamar, eupion and kapnomors, substances well 
known to the chemist, but except the first, not used 
much in the arts. In 1835, he bought the estate and 
castle of Reisenberg, near Vienna, and beautified them, 
so as to have one of the most elegant residences in the 
vicinity of that capital. The king of Wirtemberg 
elevated him to the nobility in 1839, conferring upon 
him the title of Baron or " Freiherr." In 1844 he 
went, as a matter of curiosity, to see a somnambulist, 
expecting to detect an imposter, and hoping to expose 

translator's introduction. 13 

her ; but finding that the condition of the somnam- 
bulist was genuine and unassumed, he set to work to 
study it, and in the course of eleven years, most of 
which were given exclusively to that study, he made 
the discoveries which are the subject of the Odic- 
Magnetie- Letters. 

In 1845, he made the first publication of his dis- 
coveries, in a series of articles, called the Dynamics 
of Magnetism, in Liebig's Annalen der Chemie, in 
May, 1845. Liebig saw the manuscript of these ar- 
ticles iii 1844, and on the 7th January, 1845, wrote 
thus to Reichenbach: 

" I wish and hope that every one will read your 
essays (on od) with the same pleasure which I and 
Hoffmann, and all who know you have had in reading 
them j and although I cannot, in every point, adopt 
your views, I confess to you openly, this does not by 
any means deprive me of the enjoyment with which I 
have buried myself in your ingenious and brilliant ex- 
periments, observations, and speculations. Your views 
must be established by the manner in which we cir- 
culate it (in the Annalen der Chemie.) May the new 
year fulfill all your wishes in this respect ; I have no 
doubt of it." 

In 1850 he published a second edition of the Dy- 
namics of Magnetism, which in German contains 
460 8vo pages. In 1852 he published in the Allge- 
m.eine Zeitung of Augsburg — one of the ablest and 
most widely circulated papers of Germany — the Odic- 
Magnetic Letters, which I am now about to offer to 
the public. In 1854 he published his largest work, 
The sensitive Man and his Relation to Od, contain- 
ing 1600 octavo pages. In 1856 he published his 
Sajyerstition and Ovenviseness — a pamphlet of fifty 
pages — an answer to attacks on him in Karl Vogt's 
Superstition and Science. In 1855 he published his 
Odic Replies — a pamphlet of a hundred and twenty 

14 translator's introduction. 

pages — in answer to Professors Fortlage, Sclileiden, 
and Fechner, and Councillor Caras. In tlie same 
year lie published a pamphlet of fifty pages, entitled 
Who is Sensitive f The Dynamics of Magnetism 
was translated into English by Dr. Ashburner, and 
published in 1851, in London and New York, but 
none of Reichenbach's other works had been presented 
to the English-reading public until I translated the 
Odic- Magnetic Letters, which were in that form pub- 
lished in a newspaper of San Francisco. 

Reiehenbaeh as Author and Scientific In- 

These books contain, in all, 2400 pages of solid 
original matter. The Sensitive Man, his chief work, 
may well be compared to the suppositious history of 
chemistry. It is the most extensive, elaborate, elegant 
and comprehensive record of scientific experiments 
known to me. It was written for a skeptical world 
to meet a skepticism which he esteems, defies, and 
feels confident he will conquer. lie invites the strict- 
est investigation for all his statements. He represents 
himself as having given faith to his facts and adopted 
his theory only after long doubt and the most patient 
inquiry. He takes the reader along with him, step 
by step, explains his doubts, and describes with un- 
exampled minuteness, the almost innumerable experi- 
ments that he made as tests and counter-tests of his 
discoveries. You perceive that the man has watched 
himself as closely as anybody else can watch him. He 
is not only familiar with the thoroughly inductive, 
cautious and skeptical rules of modern science, but he 
has, in this research, applied the rules in their utmost 
severity. The Sensitive Man is a magnificent work; 
it rises in many respects far above the common level 
of our physiological works. The author shows in it, 
a mind of great power, learned in all branches of phy- 

translator's introduction. 15 

sics, strictly logical, closely observant, catching in a 
moment all the wide bearings of facts which might 
appear insignificant to common minds. Add to this 
that he has a style which is a model of elegance and 
force, and has few equals in any language. It is su- 
perior to the style of any German scientific work, I 
think, and reminds me of Hugh Miller, physiologist 
Draper, and the "Vestiges man" in English. Let 
not the close reasoner or the strict physiologist turn 
his back on Reichenbach, in the supposition that he 
and his works are to be classed with Mesmer, Gall, 
the spiritists, and their works ; he is far more thorough, 
exact, learned and trustworthy than they all, and in 
saying this, I mean not to deny the eminent services 
which Gall rendered to modern science by his phy- 
siological researches, and Mesmer by his accidental 

The Assailants of Od. 

The theory of od, as I have said, has not yet been 
admitted into the domain of established science ; in- 
deed it has not yet had a fair hearing outside of Ger- 
many ; for the Dynamics, the only one of his books 
heretofore translated, was his earliest work, does not 
contain any note of some of his important discoveries, 
and is not suited for popular use. I am not aware 
whether his great work, The Sensitive Man, has ever 
been mentioned in any English work. Certainly no 
notice has been taken of it in the Westminster Re- 
view, which pays more attention than any other 
English publication to the literature of continental 
Europe. In Europe most of those scientific men who 
have spoken of od, have ridiculed it ; and no eminent 
physiologist now is a declared advocate of it. Berze- 
lius, the great chemist, was a believer, but his belief 
led Du Bois Reymond to charge him with dotage. 
Among those who have spoken disparagingly of od 


are Liebig, (he has changed position,) Cams, Karl 
Vogt, Feclmer, Fortlage, and Schleiden, all eminent 
men ; but not one of them pretends to have investi- 
gated the matter : and opinions, not based on experi- 
ments, are, worth little. On the other hand, it is said 
that many persons — Professor Gregory and Dr. Ash- 
burner among them — have repeated Reichenbach's 
experiments and obtained the same results 

Reichenbach's Sensitives. 

According to Reichenbaclfs statements, only those 
persons who have a peculiar nervous sensibility can 
feel the sensations and see the lights which are the 
only perceptible manifestations of od ; so that to in- 
vestigate the matter, you must have recurrence to 
these sensitive persons, as you would be compelled to 
find similar sensitive persons if you wished to investi- 
gate animal magnetism. Reichenbach has experi- 
mented with a hundred and sixty-two sensitive per- 
sons, whose statements he has compared together 
carefully. Among these are persons of all classes and 
ages, and of both sexes — professors, physicians, gov- 
ernment officers, bankers, mechanics, servants, noble- 
men. There are also two gentlemen of the allcr- 
hoechsten Staenden, which means, I presume, mem- 
bers of the Imperial family. The name of all these 
sensitives, save the two last referred to, are given in 
full in the Sensitive Man, with the address of each. 


These letters are reprinted, with little alteration, 
from the Allgemeine Zeitung, of Augsburg. Their 
purpose, openly declared, was to appeal to the German 
public against the unfairness of certain men, learned 
in some departments of knowledge, who used, not 
sound arguments, but their scientific reputation, to 
create the impression that my investigations are un- 
trustworthy, and who, without examination, declared 
them wild imaginings, and thus sought to bring them 
into general contempt. Everything new must go 
through a battle with the old ; the inconvenience of 
being compelled to get out of the way, incites to resist- 
ance. I have not deceived myself; many of the facts 
which I have adduced are known to everybody, will 
stand firmly against all rhetorical attacks, and have 
been witnessed by hundreds of thousands of German 
people ; the conclusions at which I have arrived, follow 
as a matter of course, and public opinion, sympathetic 
for the truth, has everywhere received my work with 

That a communication of this kind, in a political 
newspaper (such as the Allgemeine Zeitung) must 
confine itself to brief hints, lies in the nature of the 
mixed circle of its readers, to whom they are ad- 
dressed. Some main principles, set forth as clearly 
as possible, avoiding all amplification, are all that 
space allows. 

18 author's preface. 

The Allgemeine Zeitung has often given us series 
of attractive scientific letters on astronomy, chemistry, 
geology, phrenology and physiology ; but I was at 
a great disadvantage, as compared with all these. 
They all had only known and admitted truths to com- 
municate; whereas, the Odic Letters are occupied en- 
tiiely with new facts, or new views of old facts, and 
are, therefore, compelled not only to declare the prin- 
ciples, but often to furnish the proof. Those moved 
forward on the clear and open road ; these must break 
a passage through the thorns of opposing opinion. 
They who desire to have a more circumstantial expo- 
sition of the facts, more evidence and a deeper exami- 
nation, are referred to my bcok, heretofore published, 
entitled, Tlie Dynamics of Magnetism, until the 
completion of a larger work, based upon more exten- 
sive researches, with which I have long been engaged, 
and wherein more thorough investigations appear. 


Castle Reisenberg, near Vienna, August 1852. 



Yellow-Haters and Blue-Lovers. 

Have you never, my friend, met with persons who 
had a singular dislike to the color of yellow, and to 
everything wearing the color ? A delicate lemon, 
lustrous gold, a glowing orange, surely present an 
attractive sight; what can there be disagreeable about 
them ? Ask these singular persons what colors they 
like, and all will answer, " Blue." The azure of the 
deep heavens is beautiful ; but, when evening encloses 
it in a golden frame, it certainly becomes still more 
beautiful. If I were required to choose whether I 
would live all my life in a chamber with straw-yellow 
or light blue walls, I should probably prefer the yel- 
low ; the enemies of the yellow, to whom I told this, 
laughed at me and pitied my taste. 

1 shall turn the question the other way, and ask 
you whether you ever found a man who disliked blue ? 
Surely, you never did ; nobody ever hated blue. Why 
is it now that there is such an agreement among cer- 
tain persons to hate yellow and love blue V 

Our scientific books teach us that yellow and blue 
stand in a certain relation to each other ; they are 
complementary colors, forming a kind of polar oppo- 
sition. Is there anything concealed in this relation, 
besides the mere influence of our organs of sight ? — 
some unknown and deeper difference than that of the 


mere optical colors, known to all? And may there 
not be a difference among men as to their capability 
of perceiving this deeper difference between those 
colors ? Can it be that there are men who have a kind 
of percept'on not recognised in our physiologies ? 
That were a wonderful fact ! Let us consider the 

Dislike for Mirrors and Crowds. 

Maidens like to look into the mirror ; and there is 
no lack of men who are fond of their dear reflex. And 
who should find fault with them when they delight in 
contemplating the perfect copy of God's beautiful 
masterpiece ? Indeed, there is nothing more splendid 
nothing more inspiriting than a handsome myself. 
But what should we say, if there were maidens, wives 
and men, who avoid mirrors ? Who turn away and 
cannot bear to see themselves ? And yet, there cer- 
tainly are such people. There are persons, and they 
are not very rare, to whom the sight of a looking- 
glass causes a feeling of uneasiness, as though it 
breathed a hateful breath at them, and they cannot 
bear its sight for a minute. It not only shows them 
their own picture, but it throws an undctinable disa- 
greeable feeling over them — upon some strong, upon 
others weak, and upon some so faintly that a scarcely 
perceptible dislike of the glass is the only fact of 
which they are conscious. And what is the cause of 
this ? Why do some persons feel this dislike and not 

You have travelled much, in stage-coaches and 
railway-cars, and you must have observed people who 
would insist upon having the windows open, no mat- 
ter how cold or stormy the weather might be, and 
utterly regardless of the dangers of rheumatism and 
the complaints of fellow-passengers? You considered 
their conduct to be uncivil? But I beg you to 


withhold judgment for a little while ; at least until 
you have read several more of these letters. Perhaps 
you may be convinced by them that influences, hi- 
therto unknown, are at work in crowded companies, 
and are strong to make the press entirely intolerable 
to some persons, while it has no perceptible influence 
on others. 

Have you not, among your friends, some one who 
will not sit between others at the table, in the theatre, 
in company, or at church, but always posts himself in 
a corner ? Take notice of him ; he is our man, and 
we shall soon make a closer acquaintance with him. 

Certainly, you have noticed women who are often 
unwell in church, though they are well in every other 
place ? Giving them a corner-seat does not cure 
them ; they must often be carried away in a swoon. 
If you observe closely, you will find that not all 
persons are liable to be affected thus, but that there 
are a few who are often attacked in the same manner. 
They cannot bear to sit long in the nave of a church 
without being sick, and yet they are otherwise healthy. 

Other Singularities. 

Your physician will tell you that, for health and 
comfort, you must sleep upon your right side. Ask 
him why, and, if he is upright, he will confess he 
cannot tell the reason. He does not know the cause, 
but he has learned from much experience that many 
men cannot go to sleep lying upon their left side. 
He has often heard the statement, but the connection 
between lying on that side as cause, and sound sleep 
as effect, is unknown to him. And yet, it is a fact 
that, not all men must sleep on their right sides : to 
many it makes no difference, and sleep on the left is 
just as refreshing to them as on the right. If you 
inquire, you will learn that those who can sleep only 


on their right side are the smaller number, and this 
quality of their nature sticks to them so firmly that 
they can lie half a night on the left side without 
being able to slumber for a moment $ when, if tliey 
turn upon the right, they go to sleep at once. This 
is a singular tiling, but you can observe it everywhere. 

How many persons are there who cannot eat from 
a spoon made of pewter, britannia or German silver, 
without nausea, while others can perceive no difference 
between such spoons and those of pure silver for or- 
dinary use ? There are many who cannot drink tea, 
coffee or chocolate boiled in brass vessels, while others 
care not whether the pot was brass, iron or earth- 
enware. Many persons dislike warm, much-cooked 
victuals, fat, and sweet meats, and prefer cold, simple 
or slightly sour dishes. Some have a great fondness 
for salad, and they say they would rather spare any 
other dish. Others cannot comprehend how people 
can have such queer tastes. 

There are others who cannot bear to have any one 
standing near behind them ; and these same persons 
avoid all crowded companies. Some dislike to shake 
hands, and tear themselves loose when their acquain- 
tances wish to hold their hands for a time. Many 
complain that the'heat from iron stoves causes a disa- 
greeable feeling, which they do not perceive before a 
fire on a stone hearth ! 

Connection between those Singularities. 

Is it necessary that I should go on enumerating 
hundred of such singularities, peculiar to some men ? 
What shall we think of them ? Arc they mere fancies 
caused by defective education, or bad habits, arising 
perhaps from disease? So it may appear to those 
who lcok only at the surface of things ; and, indeed, 
by such a superficial consideration of things, injustice 


has often been done to these sensitive people. If these 
rare phenomena appeared singly, scattered as accidents 
among d liferent men in various conditions, we might 
be justified in attaching little importance to them. 
But a noteworthy circumstance, which has heretofore 
not been taken into account, places the matter in a 
different light. Those peculiarities do not appear sin- 
gly, tut are grouped together in the same persons, 
often all together and never one alone. The enemy 
cf yellow hates the looking-glass ; the friend of the 
corner opens the carriage window; only the man who 
sleeps on his right side feels unwell in the church ; 
those affected with nausea by brass and pewter like 
cold and simple victuals and salad, dislike nit and 
sweets, etc.; and these likings and dislikings always 
go forward in an unbroken connection from yellow- 
hatred to sugar-nausea, from love of blue to fondness 
for salad. There is a relationship between these 
different oddities ; for experience shows that the man 
who has one, has usually all the others with it. 

It then follows necessarily that the connection be- 
tween them is not merely accidental ; and if that be 
the case, it must be owing to their originating in the 
same cause. But if this cause lies in some men and 
not in others, it must be clear that there are two kinds 
of men; — common men, who have not these pecu- 
liarities, and uncommon who have them. The latter 
may be called " Sensitives," for they are really more 
sensitive than the sensitive plant. They are consti- 
tutionally sensitive, and they can neither change nor 
master their impressibility, and wherever their oddi- 
ties are considered to be whims or bad manners, in- 
justice is done to them. Besides they have already 
enough to suffer from the mere ignorance of people 
generally of their sensitiveness, and are entitled to 
more consideration than they have heretofore received. 
Their number is not small and we shall presently see 


how deeply human society is penetrated by these 
things, in regard to which I have to-day only given 
you a few superficial hints. 



You have found a Sensitive? 

Without doubt you have succeeded in finding 
among your acquaintances some persons who have the 
peculiarities mentioned in my first letter. There is 
no difficulty in finding such persons ; they are numer- 
ous in every circle of society. And if you cannot 
find them among healthy persons, inquire for such as 
do not sleep soundly, kick off the bed- covers, speak 
or walk about while dreaming, often have sick head- 
aches, frequently have short fits of colic, complain of 
nervous irritability, dislike large companies, and love 
the company of a few friends or even solitude. Such 
persons generally have a sensitive constitution. 

The Sensitive feels a breath from a Quartz 
Crystal ? 

But these are only trivial points in tne matter under 
consideration, which, when brought to the scientific 
touchstone, shows phenomena of an entirely different 
class. Obtain a natural crystal, as large as can be 
found, of sulphate of lime, orgott-hard quartz crystal, 
a foot long, and Jay it horizontally over the corner of 
a tabic or on the arm of a chair, so that both ends 
are tree, and place a sensitive person before it with 
directions to hold the palm of his left hand opposite 
to the two ends by turns, at a distance of three or 
lour inches. In less than half a minute your sensitive 


person will declare that from the point a fine cool 
breath blows against his hand, while from the butt 
end, where the crystal grew fast, there is a warm 
breath. He will describe the cool breath as disagree- 
able, almost nauseating, which would soon penetrate 
the whole arm, and cause a feeling of exhaustion. 

When I first made this observation it was as new 
as puzzling; and when I told of it, nobody would 
believe me. Meantime I have repeated it with hun- 
dreds of sensitive persons in Vienna, and others have 
confirmed it in England, Scotland and France ; and 
every one can try it for himself, because sensitive 
persons are to be found everywhere. If the sensitive 
subject holds his hand opposite to the sides of the 
crystal, he will feel sensations of warmth and coolness, 
but much weaker than from the two ends, which are 
of opposite poles. Non-sensitive persons can perceive 
nothing of these sensations. 

The Sensitive Sees a Light from Quartz 

Since these opposite feelings are excited without 
touching the crystal, at a distance of several inches — 
and even with strongly sensitive persons at a distance 
of several feet — it is probable that there must be 
some influence flowing out of these half organic 
stones — some influence unknown to science ; which, 
though invisible, yet gives notice of its existence by 
operating upon matter. The thought occurred to me 
that since sensitive persons have the sense of touch so 
much more acutely developed than common men, 
they might possibly have a similar acuteness of sight, 
whereby, in deep darkness, they might see this in- 
fluence flowing from the crystal, which they could 
feel with their hands. To try the experiment, I went 
one very dark night in May, 1844, with a large quartz 
crystal to a highly sensitive maiden — Miss Angelica 



Sluermann. Her physician, the well known path- 
ologist. Professor Lippich, was accidentally present. 
We removed all the lights from two rooms, in one of 
which I put the crystal in a place unknown to any 
one save rayself. After some delay, to allow our 
eyes to become accustomed to the darkness, we led 
the maiden into the room where the crystal was. In 
a very short time she pointed out to me the spot 
where I had laid the crystal. She said that its whole 
body was pervaded with a mild light, and that from 
its point a bluish flame as large as a man's hand was 
blazing, with a constantly waving flicker, sometimes 
sparkling, losing itself in a fine vapor. When I 
turned the crystal about with the blunt end up, she 
saw a dull, yellowish red smoke arising from it. You 
may imagine what delight this declaration gave me. 
This was the first observation of thousands of its 
kind, made with crystals under numberless variations 
of circumstance, wherein the fact was established by 
a multitude of sensitive persons that the sensations of 
the touch caused by crystals are accompanied by 
emissions of light, which may be perceived by sensi- 
tive persons in the dark, and are of red and blue 
color at the opposite poles. 

W you wish to repeat these experiments, you must 
be careful lo have a perfect darkness, if you expect 
to succeed. The crystal light is so faint that if the 
least trace of any other light can creep into your dark 
chamber, it will render you sensitive blind to the 
more delicate phenomena. Indeed, very few persons 
are so sensitive as Miss Sluermann, or could perceive 
the light so readily as she did. Demi-sensitives have 
usually to sit in the dark from one to two hours before 
their eyes have sufficiently recovered from the irrita- 
tion of day or lamp-light to enable them to perceive 
the crystal flame. I have had many eases where 
weak-sensitives could perceive nothing in the third 


hour, and yet in the fourth succeeded in seeing the 
crystal light clearly, and thus satisfying themselves 
of the correct nes of my statements. 

These Phenomena not caused by Heat or 

You are now impatient to learn what is the cause 
of these phenomena, and what is their proper posi- 
tion, considered subjectively and objectively, in phy- 
sics and physiology. They do not belong within the 
domain of caloric, although they include sensations 
similar to those of coolness and luke-warmness ; but 
there is no source of heat ; and if there were caloric it 
would be perceived by non-sensitives as well as by 
sensitives, and might be measured by a thermometer. 
They are not electrical phenomena, for here there is 
an endless stream without any chemical or mechanical 
change to produce it ; it has no influence on an elec- 
troscope and can not be led away on the conductors 
of electricity. Magnetism and dia-magnetism it can- 
not be, because crystals are not magnetic, and dia- 
magnetism is very different in different crystals, which 
is not the case with the phenomena under considera- 
tion. It can not be common light, for that could not 
cause the warm and cold sensations. 

What then are the described phenomena ? If you 
insist upon a reply from me, I must confess that I do 
not know. I perceive the operations of a force which 
is unrecognized in our scientific books. If I do not 
mistake the character of the cited facts, this hitherto 
unknown force stands midway between magnetism, 
electricity and caloric, and since it can not be identi- 
fied with either, I have named it " Od," a word whose 
etymology I will explain at another time. 



Sunlight is Cold to the Sensitive. 

You know the sensitive person, and the element in 
which they move — that force, namely, which I desig- 
nated by the word " Od." But, with this knowledge, 
we have only touched a corner of the great garment 
in which Nature veils herself. That wonderful power 
streams out, not from the poles of crystals alone, but 
from a multitude of other objects of the material uni- 
verse. First, I shall lead you to the heavenly bodies, 
beginning with the sun. Place a sensitive person in 
the shade, with a stick of glass or wood in his left 
hand, and let him hold his stick in the sunlight, his 
own person being entirely in the shadow. You will 
soon hear something from this single experiment which 
will surprise you. You will expect that the subject 
will declare that the staff is warmed by the sunlight ; 
for the sunlight conveys heat to whatever it strikes. 
But you will be told directly the contrary ; the sensi- 
tive hand will experience various sensations, but the 
amount of them will be a feeling of coolness. It' he 
draws the staff back into the shadow, the cool sensa- 
tion will disappear, and warmth will take its place, 
which disappears in turn when the staff is again thrust 
into the light : and so on, the correctness of the first 
report being confirmed by repeated experiments. These 
are, therefore, very single circumstances, hitherto un- 
observed, in which clear and unobstructed sunlight 
causes a sensation, not of warmth, but coolness; and, 
of this cool sensation, the sensitives will inform you 
that it is just like that which flows from the upper 
point of the quartz crystal. If, now, this coolness 
have an odic nature, it must also manifest itself by a 


light visible in the dark ; and this light may be seen. 
Having one end of a copper wire in the dark cham- 
ber, I placed the other in the sunlight, and forthwith 
the former end began to send out a flame, which 
became as large as my finger. Thus, it appeared that 
the sunlight poured on odic stream into the wire. 

But let us go a step further ; intercept the sun^ 
rays with a glass prism, and throw the rainbow colors 
on the wall before you. Then let the sensitive try 
the different colors by touching them with a glass rod 
held in his left hand. When he holds the rod so 
that only the violet blue rays come upon it, he will 
feel a cool and agreeable sensation ; much cooler and 
purer than from the unseparated sunlight. If he 
should now insert the end of the rod in the yellow, 
or better still, in the red rays, the agreeable coolness 
will vanish at once, and a lukewarm feeling will make 
the whole arm heavy. Instead of a glass rod, the 
sensitive may use his finger, and the sensation will 
be the same. The rod was suggested merely because 
glass is a poor conductor of heat. These influences 
of the analyzed sunlight, are precisely the same as 
those of the crystal-poles. You see from this that od 
of both kinds is found in sunlight ; it streams down to 
us in a great flood with the light and heat of our day- 
star, and forms a new and mighty agent, whose range 
is yet unknown. 

Connection Between the Odic Sensations of 
Touch and Light. 

And now you will look back again at the haters of 
yellow and lovers of blue, mentioned in my first let- 
ter. Have we not seen that the crystal pole which 
breathed out agreeable coolness, gave a blue light ? 
And have we not found here, in an entirely different 
path, that the blue rays of sunlight give out a pleasant, 
refreshing coolness ? And on the other hand, did not 


in like manner, the orange light of the other crystal- 
pole, and the red and yellow rays of the sun produce 
a like lukewarm disagreeable sensation upon the sensi- 
tive nerves ? You see that in both cases, so far re- 
moved from each other, the red and yellow had the 
same pleasant, and the blue the same unpleasant 
influence. Here you have the first hint from Nature 
to beware how you hastily condemn, as foolish whims, 
the peculiarities of sensitive persons. You see that 
blue and yellow colors have other powers besides those 
of making themselves sensible to the retina of our 
eyes ; a deep-lying instinct for an unknown something 
leads the feelings and the judgment of our sensitives* 
and this instinct is worthy of our closest attention. 

But I will give you another experiment without re- 
ference to colors, for discovering the odic element hi 
sunlight. Polarize it in by the ordinary method of 
letting it fall at an angle of thirty-five degrees upon a 
bundle of a dozen plates of glass. Then let a sensitive 
person try the transmitted and the reflected light with 
a glass-rod, and he will tell you that the latter is cool, 
the former lukewarm. 

Od Discovered by the Taste. 

If you please you may bother a chemist with an 
odic experiment. Take two similar glasses of water, 
and place them one in the transmitted light and the 
other in the reflected light. After having been in that 
position for six or eight minutes, let a sensitive person 
taste them, and he will at once say the glass from 
the reflected light is cool and sourish, and the other 
warm and bitterish. Or place a glass of water in the 
red rays of the Iris, and another in the yellow ; or put 
it in front of the upper point of a crystal and another 
before the lower end or butt, and in all these cases 
you may be certain that the sensitive will find the 
water from the blue rays agreeable and sourish, and 


the other nauseating and bitterish. He will empty 
the former glass, if you will permit him ; but if you 
force him to drink all in the latter he may vomit, as 
happened in a case known to me. Now give such 
waters to the chemists, and let them see whether they 
can discover any bitter or sour elements in the water 
by analyzation. 

Od in Moonlight. 

You may try the same experiment with moonlight 
as with sunlight. You will obtain similar results, ex- 
cept with the poles inverted. A glass rod held in the 
rays of the moonlight left hand of a sensitive, will con- 
vey a lukewarm sensation to him. A glass of water 
which has been standing in the moonlight will have a 
more unpleasant taste than other water. Every one 
knows the great influence the moon exercises upon 
some persons, and these are always sensitives, and 
generally have a very acute perception of odic impress- 
ions. And since the it 0011 exercises beyond a doubt, 
an odic influence and since its influence on lunatics, 
correspond exactly with the phenomena obtained from 
other odic sources, as heretofore stated, we may pre- 
sume that it is an object of much importance in our 

Thus the light of the sun and moon send down so 
much odic power that we can conveniently catch it up 
and make simple experiments with it How bound- 
less its influence upon all mankind, and upon the 
whole animal and vegetable kingdoms will soon be 
shown. Od is a cosmical force, radiates from star to 
star, and like light and heat pervades the whole uni- 



Why these Letters are called Odic-Magnetic. 

These letters are styled odic-magnetic ; but why 
magnetic ? What is there magnetic about the odic in- 
fluence ? I might almost answer " little or nothing." 
But people are accustomed to give the title "mag- 
netic " to many phenomena which are to be taken 
into consideration, and 1 must submit to the accepted 
definitions of words. I use the word magnetic, be- 
cause the odic forces are found associated with mag- 
netism in the same manner, as also the light of the 
sun and moon, as they pour from the poles of crystals, 
and are found from many other sources which have 
nothing- in common with magnetism as that word has 
been understood heretofore. Let us cast a glance upon 
the relationship of od and magnetism. 

Lay a strong bar-magnet diagonally across the cor- 
ner of a table, so that both ends project beyond its 
edge, as you did with the large crystals ; turn the 
table so that the magnet lies with its poles of the 
magnet pointing north and south, to the corresponding 
poles of the earth. Let a sensitive person now place 
the palm of his left hand before these two poles by 
turns, at a distance of four or five inches. In this 
experiment you will obtain from him precisely such 
declarations as to his sensations, as he gave when tried 
with tha crystals; namely that one pole — and in this 
case the north one — blows cool upon his hand, while 
the other, the south-pole, has a lukewarm, disagreeable 
Lnath. You may again place glasses of water before 
the two ends of the magnet, for six or eight minutes, 
and when the. sensitive tastes them afterwards, he will 
assert that the glass from the north-pole is cool and 


refreshing, and that the other glass is warm and nau- 
seating. If you now ask a chemist to discover the 
difference between the two glasses by analysis, he will 
be angry, and to escape from the perplexity, he will 
deny the fact of a difference. You may laugh at the 
manner in which scien title men sometimes expose 
themselves ; for the truth of nature cannot be turned 
into untruth by denial without investigation. These 
gentlemen will soon have to learn better, against 
their will. 

Magnets are Luminous in the Dark. 

That the suppositions, which led me into the dark 
with the crystals, also arose in regard to the magnets, 
you would expect as a matter of course. I made the 
first experiment with Maria Nowotny, at Vienna, in 
April 1844, and afterwards repeated it more than a 
hundred times with other sensitives in the dark cham- 
ber. With joyful satisfaction I learned that my sup- 
positions were correct. Miss Nowotny told me that 
she saw light and fiery flames, smoking and sparkling, 
pouring out of both ends of the magnet — that to the 
northward blue, that to the southward orange-colored. 
Make this single experiment for yourself; and then 
set the magnet up perpendicularly, the south pole up- 
ward and you will learn that the flame grows longer, 
and it will even rise to the ceiling of the room, and if 
the magnet be a very large one, will throw upon it a 
round light, two or three feet in diameter. But to 
make the experiment successful, absolute darkness is 
necessary, as well as preparation by remaining several 
hours in it, otherwise your sensitive will see nothing, 
and my assertions will be subjected to an undeserved 

The odic light will be more beautiful if you use a 
horse-shoe magnet, and set it upright, with both poles 
turned upwards. I have a nine-leaved horse-shoe- 


magnet, with a power of raising a hundred pounds ; 
and all sensitive persons can see a fine light streaming 
out of each pole — that is, two lights side by side, 
which do not attract, nor influence, nor extinguish each 
other — as do the magnetic forces of opposing poles — 
but steadily stream up high, side by side, and form a 
light-column, as large as a man and composed of in- 
numerable light sparkles in constant motion — the col- 
umn being described as impressively beautiful by all 
who have seen it. It rises perpendicularly to the 
ceiling, and there casts a light upon a space about 
twelve feet in diameter. If the magnet is kept long 
in this position before the sensitive person, the whole 
ceiling becomes gradually visible. Such a magnet 
upon a table, throws a light upon it, so that everything 
on its surface can be seen for a yard in each direction 
from the magnet. A hand interposed between the 
flame and the table, casts a perceptible shadow. If 
you hold a piece of bord, a pane of window-glass, a 
plate of tin, or any similar body horizontally into the 
flame, the latter will bend under it and rise up at the 
sides, just as the flame of a fire would under the same 
circumstances. If a draft of air blown upon the 
magnet, or if it be moved, the flame bends to one side 
as the flame of a candle would. The light can be 
collected in a focus by a burning glass, like the rays 
of ordinary light. The phenomenon is thus shown to 
be a material one, and has many qualities in common 
with ordinary flame. If two of these odic flames be 
made to cross each other, there is no perceptible at- 
traction or repulsion, but they mutually pierce each 
other and pursue their respective courses undisturbed. 
If one be stronger than the other — if its sparkles of 
light have a stronger headway — it divides the weaker 
flame which splits, passes over the sides of the stronger 
one, and meets on the other side, just as it does if a 
stick be held in it. And as sensitive persons saw the 


crystals penetrated by a fine glow, so also they see 
the steel magnet translucent with a white lio'ht : and 
electro-magnets have the same appearance. 

Distinctions between Od and Magnetism. 

These properties have nothing in common with 
magnetism ; they are peculiarly odic. A crystal of 
sulphate of lime and a steel magnet of the same weight, 
throw out flames of about the same size, and cause an 
effect of about equal power upon sensitive nerves, or 
rather the crystal is the more powerful — causing 
stronger sensations of warmth, coolness and light ; and 
yet it has no magnetic property. In one instrument, 
od appears in conjunction with magnetism ; in the 
other it appears without magnetism— the od in the 
two cases being of about equal strength. There is, 
therefore, no ground for the assertion that od is an as- 
sociate, or quality of magnetism, or magnetism itself. 
In the crystal, od appears separate from magnetism, 
and a multitude of other similar cases might be ad- 
duced, wherein a substance, which possesses no per- 
ceptible magnetic power, is strongly odic. 

Hence it follows that od must be a distinct force of 
nature, and appears in conjunction with magnetism, 
as it does also with crystals, sunlight and many other 
natural phenomena. We know the near relationship 
of magnetism and electricity ; w r e know that they fol- 
low each other so closely that we are tempted to con- 
sider them as one; and the same remark may be made 
in regard to light and heat, the presence of one induces 
the presence of the other ; yet we are not able to point 
out the common source whence they both flow. We 
suspect, indeed, that all these phenomena, heretofore 
considered as natural forces, must have a common 
origin ; but since we cannot prove their identity or 
their immediate derivation as effect from an antecedent 
cause, we must treat them — light, heat, electricity and 


magnetism — as distinct groups of phenomena. And 
we must look upon ocl, for the same reasons, as a 
distinct force. When we see that the numerous ma- 
nifestations of od cannot be classed with those of any 
of the known natural forces, there is nothing left for 
us save to bring them together and consider them as 
a group by themselves. That they are in no respect 
inferior in importance to those other phenomena al- 
ready admitted to citizenship in the world of science 
will be most convincingly shown in the letters which 
are to follow. 


Animals and Plants visible in the Dark. 

The world hears a great deal just now of that won- 
derful thing named "Animal Magnetism " by Mesmer, 
some eighty and odd years ago. Our fathers, grand- 
fathers and greatfathers declared it to be a pure 
humbug, and yet it will not die. Where does it get 
this tougli life ? From lies, and trickery and super- 
stitions, as has been asserted ? Let us see whether 
they have done well who have scorned Mesmerism 
without examining it. 

Let us go into the middle of the subject at once. 
Take a sensitive person into a dark room, with a cat, 
a bird, a butterfly, and some plants in flower. In the 
course of a couple of hours you will hear wonderful 
tilings. The flowers will step out of the darkness 
and become visible ; some parts will appear brighter 
than others. Finally different flowers will be distin- 
guishable, the forms will appear more and more clearly ; 


and when I once placed a flower-pot before the late 
Professor Endlicher, who was a good demi-sensitive — 
in the dark — he cried out with terrified astonishment, 
" It is a blue flower, a gloxinia ?" And so it was in 
truth a gloxinia speciom, of the variety ccerulea, 
which he had seen, and distinguished by form and 
color in the completest darkness. But nothing can 
be seen in the dark without light ; and therefore there 
must have been light in the room when this flower 
was seen and recognised by form and color, and 
whence came this light ? It came from the plant 
itself, which gave out light, buds, pistils, anther, 
flower leaves, stalks — all were in a glow and even the 
leaves which had the faintest light, were dimly vi- 
sible. The butterfly, the bird, the cat glow too, and 
are visible ; and give out a mist of light, which moves 
with them. 

The Odie Light of Men. 

And soon the sensitive declares that he sees you — 
yourself. At first you will appear to him like a rudely 
formed snow-man, then like a warrior dressed in 
armor, and, at last, terrible like a fiery giant. The 
sensitive person will next see himself, his arms, his 
legs, feet, breast, body, perceptible through the clothes, 
all in a fine glow. Direct his attention to his hands. 
He will first see a gray smoke, and then he will see 
their forms as shadows upon a light ground ; and at 
last the fingers seem to glow, and they take the ap- 
pearance of a hand held close before a candle-flame in 
a dark room. The hand will appear longer than it 
really is ; every linger will have a flame-like extension 
streaming out nearly as long as the finger itself; the 
whole will seem to be twice as long as it really is. 
The last joints of the fingers, and particularly the 
roots of the nails will be the brightest. 

After the first astonishment, at this hitherto un- 


known emanation of light from the human body, has 
passed away, and you ask about the color of this 
lio-ht, vou will be again astonished to hear that the 
colors are different in different places. You will be 
told that the right hand has a bluish glow, and the 
left yellow ; that the former is dark as compared with 
the latter. Then you will be told that the same co- 
lors distinguish the feet, and that the whole right side 
of your face and body is bluish, and the left side 
yellowish and lighter in color. It is worthy of note 
that the opposing colors are the same here as were 
observed to characterize the odic emanations of the 
crystal, magnet, and sunlight. 

The Eight and Left Odic Sensations of Touch. 

The question now suggests itself whether the 
relation noticed heretofore between the blue light and 
the cool sensation at one pole, and the yellowish light 
and the lukewarm sensation at the other pole, can be 
observed in the odic sensations of the human body. 
You will doubt the result, and yet if such a fact can- 
not be established, the nature of this human light 
will remain questionable. I made the following ex- 
periment with cabinet-maker Bollman of Vienna, a 
demi-sensitive, fifty years of age: — I placed my right 
hand in his left in such manner that our ringers crossed, 
but scarcely touched each other. At the end of a 
minute I withdrew my right hand, and put my left 
in its place. I charged thus several times, and found 
that the sensitive perceived two different sensations 
as caused by the different hands — the blue right 
hand giving out a coolish current, and theyellowish 
left a warmish one. The principle sought was 
found ; I repeated the experiment afterwards with 
more than a hundred sensitives, all of whom confirmed 
the results. 



The Odic Sensations of Touch Continued. 

You have seen that when I place my right hand 
in the left hand of a sensitive person, the latter feels 
a sensation of agreeable coolness ; but when I do the 
same with my left hand, a disagreeable warmish feel- 
ing is the result. The experiment may be reversed 
by putting your left hand in the right of the sensitive 
person, when he will find it agreeably cool, but your 
right in his right will cause an unpleasant feeling. 
The position of the hand may be reversed, putting 
your left hand in the sensitive's right, and the 
result will be a coolish pleasant feeling, but if it 
be your right hand in his right, luke-warm dis- 
comfort will follow. From these phenomena we 
deduce the general principles that the junction of hands 
of the same side causes a disagreeable luke-warmness ; 
and the junction of hands of unlike sides causes a 
cool and pleasant sensation. The reader will now 
recall to mind the observation made in my first letter, 
that there are people who dislike to shake hands, and 
wiio tear themselves loose if any one tries to hold 
their hands long. The cause is that these persons 
are sensitive and have an unpleasant feeling when 
their right hands are taken in the right hands of other 

Now make the experiment of placing your right 
fore finger on the left arm of the sensitive on his 
shoulder, in the arm pit, on his hip, on his knee, on 
his foot or toes, and he will find it agreeable whenever 
touched, because there is a meeting of unlike poles. 
Try his right side in the same manner with your left 
hand and the sensations caused will be the same ; they 
too are unlike. But bring the likes poles together, 


either right to right or left to left, and the contact will 
be found disagreeable in every case. 

Pat my theory now to the test by standing near 
to a sensitive with your right side touching his left 
and he will feel it pleasant, but face about so that 
the two left sides are brought together and he will 
complain at once and move away. The meeting of 
the like poles has again caused an unpleasant feeling. 

Try another position : stand either before or behind 
the sensitive, with your face in the same direction — 
in both cases the like poles are brought together, and 
the sensitive cannot endure either position. I must 
now beg again to look back at my first letter to that 
place where I called your attention to the fact that 
there are persons who cannot endure that any one 
should stand before or behind them, and who therefore 
avoid all crowds. You see that they have a cause 
for it. 

I know some young, strong and vivacious men who 
do not like to ride on horseback ; and yet it is almost 
a part of man's nature to like to ride. Vigorous 
youth delights in the movement of the horse. But 
on horseback the rider has his sides in contact with 
the like sides of the animal, and the effect is the same 
as if he had a man standing at his back with the like 
sides together. The men who have this dislike for 
riding are all sensitives; and as examples I have the 
privilege of mentioning Barons August and Henry 
Von Oberlander. 

There are some women who cannot endure to carry 
children on their backs, not even for a i'cw minutes in 
play. This case is almost the same with that men- 
tioned in the preceding paragraph; it is another posi- 
tion where like poles are brought together. These 
women are always sensitives. 


Why the Post of Honor is at the Eight. 

Many persons cannot sleep well in bed with another 
person ; the bad bed-fellows are proverbial. Their 
restlessness is explained by what has gone before. 
The universal custom of all civilized people to place 
the person who is to be honored at the right, others 
placing themselves at his left, has a deep-seated cause 
in our odic nature. The alleged reason for this cus- 
tom is to allow the honored person to have his right 
hand free • and this consideration may have its share 
in the custom, but the influence of sensitiveness is far 
greater in the scales. When two persons stand side 
by side the od of each passes to the other. He at 
the right gets an od-negative lading from the one at 
the left, who in his turn receives the positive od. 
The right-hand person gains therefore as much nega- 
tive od as the left-hand one loses ; and the latter gains 
as much positive od as the latter loses. But as you 
know, the condition of greater odic negativeness is 
the cooler and more agreeable ; while that of greater 
positiveness is more luke-warm and disagreeable. 
The woman, therefore, who is placed on the right 
gains as much pleasurable feeling from her position as 
the man at her left loses. The key to these customs 
brought down from the earliest times is found not in 
tradition, but in our inmost nature. This goes so far 
that very sensitive persons cannot bear to have any 
one at their right side. 

Such cases appear without number in human life, 
in a thousand relations and variations ; all of them 
may be explained and judged by the laws here deve- 
loped. It will also be seen that sensitives have good 
reason to demand that their feelings shall be consid- 
ered and spared. 




Mesmerism* the Therapeutic Application of Od. 

You will now ask me what — seen from our point of 
view — the so-called magnetising of man is, and per- 
haps you will suppose it to be the pivot about which 
my letters turn. This supposition would be in no 
wise correct, but yet magnetising is a very important 
side of odic phenomena. It has risen to great, prac- 
tical importance, and 'has led to what is called Mes- 
merism — that is to a system introduced into Medicine 
by Dr. Mesmer, of using the odic force as a remedial 
agent in disease. Mesmer, looking at the matter from 
the condition of science in his day, supposed the prin- 
ciple to be Magnetism, and called it Animal Magnet- 
ism. The names Od and Mesmerism will not inter- 
fere with each other ; the former is a universal force 
and belongs to the widest domain of science ; the lat- 
ter is a specific application of that force in therapeutics 
and comes within the domain of the medical art. 

Let us now go back to my fifth letter, where I in- 
vited you, with the light of the general principles pre- 
viously arrived at, to take a swift flight through the 
confused territory of the so-called animal magnetism. 

You know that wherever you touch a sensitive with 
your lingers, an influence, that may be felt and may 
be seen in the dark, is exercised upon him. But it 
is not necessary that there should be an actual touch 
— tlie mere proximity cf your lingers will produce its 
effect. This emanation, which is seen in the dark to 
extend far beyond the lingers, reaches the body to 
which they approach, and works upon it. At a dis- 
tance? of several inches you can produce powerful at- 
tractions; and yon may l»e fell l»v demi-sensitives at 
the distance of a loot, or even of several i'eet. This 


goes so far in the high sensitives that I have had cases 
where the influence was felt at the surprising distance 
of twenty and thirty, and even more, steps. 

Experiment with Magnetic Passes. 

Hitherto we have considered only still touches — 
contact without motion. But now I invite you to 
make passes with the points of your fingers, with 
your flat hand, with the pole of a crystal, or with a 
magnet, over any part of the body of a sensitive. Put, 
for instance, the fingers of your right hand on the left 
shoulder of your sensitive, and stroke his arm gently 
and slowly downwards to the elbow, or continue the 
stroke downwards to the ends of his fingers. As with 
the still contact, so here with the moving touch, you 
will produce an influence along the whole line ; you 
will cause a cool stripe, which may be considered as 
a chain of innumerable cool points. This is called 
" a pass " by physicians. Try similar strokes over 
other parts — over the left side of the head, the left 
side of the body, over the left foot out to the toes, and 
you will leave a cool sensation all the way along. 
Making similar strokes with your left hand over his 
right side, exerts a similar influence ; the poles are 
unlike. Finally, with both your hands make passes 
over his whole person from his head to his feet, and 
he will feel an agreeable sensation of coolness and rest 
throughout his body ; and these strokes which you 
have just made, are what Mesmer and all the so-called 
Magnetic physicians called Mesmeric, or Animal-Mag- 
netic passes. You can now magnetise. 

In this process, as you readily perceive, it is a 
matter of indifference whether the stroke be made 
with the hands, or with crystal poles, or with mag> 
nets, and whether they be made in contact with the 
bare skin, over clothing, at a distance of half a span,- 
or of a yard ; in every case the effect will be the same, 


only the strength will diminish with the increase of 
the distance. 

We are now ready to infer that Mesmerism or the 
influence exercised by strange odic emanations, on the 
unlike sides of a sensitive person, is the essence of 
magnetizing. If you make the passes in the dark, 
the sensitives see the fiery brushes of the stroking 
fingers, or poles, rub down over them; they see, also, 
that, where these flames strike on their own bodies, a 
spot of stronger light appears, and moves along down- 
wards with the course of the stroke. From this phe- 
nomenon of light, as well as from the accompanying 
feeling of coolness, you recognize clearly that the opera- 
tor exercises, upon the organism of the subject, a 
charm which must be called significant ; that the od 
which streams out with a blue light upon those parts 
which have a red light — that is, unlike poles coming 
in contact — has a peculiar influence ; and, since the 
human body is a strong producer of od, and, since the 
odic force has a large share in its vital operations, so 
it may be understood that the odic passes take a deep 
hold on the physical and spiritual relations of man. 
The creation of sleep or restlessness, beneficial and 
prejudicial effects, or diseased disturbances of the body, 
influences by the laying on of hands and strokes, and 
such like, are, therefore, not " a lamentable maze of 
lying and deceit, and superstition," as has been as- 
serted, but they are physiological facts, occurring in 
accordance with natural laws, and well established by 
experience. Only those who have never given them- 
selves the trouble to investigate them, can express such 
raw opinions in regard to them. 

The Value of Od as a Therapeutic Agent. 

If you ask me about the actual benefit which the 
healing science is to obtain from the use of odic passes, 


I must admit that it appears to me as yet very limited 
and uncertain, although I cherish the conviction that 
it will he immeasurably great when the nature and 
physiology of od shall have been developed. The 
magnetizers declare, as Mesmer did 80 years ago, that 
they can heal nearly all diseases. Every physician, 
to whatsoever school he may belong, imagines that 
when a sick man gets well the cure is due to him and 
his art; why should not the magnetic physician 
cherish a similar satisfaction with himself? We 
others know well that among twenty who recover, 
nineteen get well by the force of nature and in spite 
of the doctors. This much I have found to be uni- 
versally true, that whenever a hand of the unlike odic 
pole, is laid on the human body, there is an increased 
activity of the vital functions, not superficial alone, 
but reaching to the deepest organs. Therefore, when- 
ever a local relaxation or weakness occurs, this new life 
and activity can be called forth. This is a great and 
comprehensive general result, which wise physicians 
well know how to value. In particular, I think the 
influence of od on cramps is decisive ; I have cured 
them at will innumerable times, and have caused them 
also. But when I have observed physicians operating 
at the sick bed, I have seen them, with rare excep- 
tions, making experiments contrary to all sound rules 
of the odic relations, and the consequence was the im- 
possibility that the patient should derive any benefit. 
Without the least knowledge of the essence and laws 
of a force so complicated as od, and following the road 
of a blind groping, what solid result could be expected ? 
But we may hope that when the nature of od, and its 
connection with the vital functions, shall have been 
made known by thorough scientific investigations, our 
physicians will begin to substitute a rational conduct 
instead of their previous blundering, to bring the in- 
fluence of od on the sick body under fixed laws, and 


to draw some certain good for the world out of these 
extraordinary things, as it has long, with reason, ex- 



The name Animal Magnetism Discarded. 

I HAVE explained what animal magnetism is ; it is 
not a magnetic but an odic influence on the human 
body, an influence which may be exercised by many 
other generators of od as well as by the magnet, 
which latter acts, in this matter, as a source of od 
for the occasion, and not as a magnet. We shall then 
discard the unsuitable word " animal magnetism," as 
obsolete. It arose in a time when the darkest and 
most confused ideas of these things prevailed, and it 
no longer agrees with the present position of theoretic 
enlightenment. But. before I lead you deeper into the 
affair on this side, I must make you better acquainted 
with the extent of od in nature. 

You know the od which emanates forever -and un- 
changeably, under the force of unknown causes, from 
the poles of crystals ; you know also the od which 
comes from the gradually exhausting source of the 
steel magnet ; finally, you know such od as springs 
from the transitory but living spring of organic lile. 
Now I will lead you to such od as blazes up momen- 
tarily and then quickly dies. This od is produced 
by chemical action and must be distinguished from 
affinity, which marks chemical power. 


The Od of Effervescing and Fermenting Fluids. 

Open a bottle of champagne in the dark before a 
sensitive person ; with pleased astonishment he will 
see a fiery ray follow the flying cork to the ceiling. 
The whole bottle will then appear in a white glow, as 
if it were of illuminated snow, and over it will be a 
light waving cloud. Since you personally see nothing 
of all these charming fire -works, you will know at 
once that it is an odic phenomenon, and if you wish 
to understand it, you must follow me in some experi- 
ments. Throw a spoonful of finely pulverized sugar 
or table salt into a glass of water in the dark. While 
in dry powder the sugar or salt did not attract the 
attention of your sensitive, but now that you stir 
them about in water, he at once sees the glow and 
the water full of light. If he holds it in his left hand, 
he will feel it become cold. Simple solution there- 
fore develpos od ; it is a source of od. Put a wire 
of iron, copper or zinc in a glass containing diluted 
sulphuric acid : the whole wire will glow, and from 
its upper end a blaze will soon arise, with a shape 
much like that of the flame of a common candle, but 
infinitely weaker in its light. At the top it will go 
off into smoke with many little sparks, which stream 
vertically upward. The wire will appear to the left 
hand of a sensitive person much colder than it was 
before. The dissolving of metals in acids therefore is 
also a source of od. Prepare a soda powder for 
drinking; first dissolve the soda in a half a glass of 
water in the dark, and it will lighten. Then in ano- 
ther glass dissolve the tartaric acid, which will lighten 
still more. At the end of a few minutes when both 
shall have become dark, pour the contents of one glass 
into the other, and immediately the mixture will make 
a bright light, a large white flame will arise from the 
glass, which if held in the left hand will also give a 


strong sensation of cold. Chemical decomposition 
then develops od in large quantity. Make a solution 
of sugar of lead and pour it into a solution of alum; 
the whole fluid will become visible in the dark. Place 
the pole wires of a voltaic pile in water, and as soon 
as the decomposition commences your sensitive will 
see the water glow and become lighter, and the vessel 
containing it will be cold in his left hand. All chem- 
ical action develops od rapidly and freely, but the 
source exhauts itself as soon as the play of the affi- 
nities is at an end. 

If the stopper be taken out of a bottle of alcohol, 
pure ether, sulphuret of carbon, (schvjefelkohlenstoff) 
salt ammoniac, or pare eupion with a specific gravity 
of 65, and the air be not disturbed by the breath or 
otherwise, a sensitive person will see in the dark a 
light column ascend vertically, the more rapidly in 
proportion to the volatility of the substance. At the 
same time the fluid in the bottle will be luminous. 
But not only substances so volatile as those mentioned, 
but also others, such as quicksilver with its exceed- 
ingly weak power of evaporation drive a flame of light 
up through the mouth of the bottle. Solid bodies, 
such as camphor, also glow, particularly iodine, which 
sends up a bright light smoke, and itself becomes as 
if incandescent. 

All sweet fermenting fluids give forth a constant 
light ; die air bubbles arise through them like glowing 
pearls. The juice of the grape when fermenting is 
all iirc. The bursting out of your champagne with 
fire and flame will now explain itself to you without 
my assistance. 

Putrefaction is also a stage of fermentation, and 
therefore all putrifying substances give out a light. 
We all know that Ion-- aor> from the teaching about 
phosphorescence ; but we have not yet considered 
how nearly this is related to the od light ; and al- 


though we non-sensitives see no trace of phosphores- 
cence in putrifying substances, they are yet full of 
light to the eyes of the sensitive. 

The Od from Decomposing Corpses. 

And since we are occupied with decomposition, we 
are not far from the dead. Follow me a moment into 
the kingdom of the dead, under my promise to bring 
you back soon enriched by an instructive glance at 
their nightly doings. You certainly know that the 
departed souls of the dead wander in garments of fire, 
for a time, about their graves, until they have atoned 
for their sins and have obtained eternal rest ? You 
look at me in doubt? Bat I am in earnest for these 
ghosts have been seen ; you can find enough witnes- 
ses. You must, however, have heard that it is not 
given to everybody to see ghosts, but that only certain 
persons are chosen to perceive them. All this fell 
warm upon my heart, while I was investigating, with 
a sensitive, the nature of the light caused by the pu- 
trefaction of fish. I wished to know whether I could 
not get acquainted with the fiery dead. Miss Leo- 
poldine Reichel consented to be taken, one very dark 
night, to the Gruenzing graveyard, near Vienna, not 
far from my dwelling. This was in November, 1844, 
and the result was, that she saw fiery apparitions 
over many graves. Afterwards, when she was taken 
to the great cemeteries of Vienna, she saw a multi- 
tude of graves covered by moving flames. They made 
uniform movements, hither and thither, almost like a 
row of dancers, or of soldiers exercising. Some were 
large, almost like men, others small, creeping on the 
ground, like dwarfish sprites. But all were in the 
rows of the fresh graves ; the old graves had no fiery 
watchmen. Miss Reichel approached them hesitat- 
ingly, and, as she drew near, the human forms disap- 
peared ; she saw that they were only light vapors, 


such as she had seen in my dark chamber in a thous- 
and shapes. She then ventured up to them and found 
nothing but a bright mist ; she stepped into one ; it 
rose to her neck, and she could break it by the mov- 
ing of her clothes. The dancing and exercising was 
found to be caused by the motion of the wind, which 
had played with all of them alike. On another occa- 
sion I sent four sensitive persons to the Sievring 
graveyard. It was so dark, that several of them fell 
down repeatedly on the w T ay. Bat when they came 
to the graves they all saw the fiery ghost-like forms, 
more or less plainly, according to the different degrees 
as their sensitive excitability. One of them drew 
figures in the earth of one of the fresh graves with 
the handle of her umbrella, and the marks were visible 
in the increased light over the furrows. What was, 
what is this ? Nothing more than the putrefying 
miasms which emanate from graves and which rise 
over them into the air, where the wind plays with 
them ; and fear interprets their flickering in the air to 
be the dancing of living ghosts : it is carbonate of 
ammonia, phosphoretted hydrogen, and other known 
and unknown products of decomposition which in the 
course of evaporation give out the odic light. When 
the decomposition ends, the lights disappear and the 
dead are permitted to rest. 

But my friend, we must do justice to our old 
women ; we must make an apology. The fiery ghosts 
over the graves do, in fact and truth, exist ; their 
existence can never be denied ; we must, whether we 
like it or not, admit it to them, and they have the 
right on their side. Yes, even that the gliosis cannot 
be seen by everybody, but only by the chosen, the 
Bentitives, and we must confess, with shame, the truth 
of it. It is not (heir fault that we have so long failed 
to comprehend what they have asseverated for cen- 




Experiments with Glasses and Bells. 

With my last letter we drove superstition out of 
the den in which she has hidden herself for centuries ; 
to-day we will give her another chase. Let us examine 
further about the extent of od in nature. In Octo- 
ber, 1851, I had Mr. Enter, a mechanic of Vienna, 
and a middle-sensitive, in my dark chamber, and tried 
whether sound did not bear some relation with od. 
I procured the bell-glass of an air pump, and while 
I held it in my hand by the knob, stmck it carefully 
with a key. When it sounded, it gave out a light and 
was visible. The stronger the blows, the brighter the 
light. A metallic bar, a horseshoe magnet, struck so 
as to rino;, o-rew in brightness. A metallic bell of a 
strong, sharp ton, when struck a number of times in 
rapid succession became so luminous that a bright 
light pervaded the whole room, so that all sensitives 
saw it. When a violin was played upon, not only the 
strings but the whole sounding board £ave out light. 
Bodies which rang when struck, not only glowed with 
od, but emitted a light on all sides ; they were as if 
surrounded with the halo of a saint. Every tumbler, 
which I struck with a knife, as we do to call a ser- 
vant, put on a garment of light, bright in proportion 
as the tone was high. The glass quivered like the 
sound. The brightest was always that point which 
I struck. 

I then had the sensitives to put their hands inside 
of such glass and metallic bells, but so as not to touch 
them, and when the bells were struck I was told that 


the left hands felt a cool and the right ones a lukewarm 
sensation. So there was here a perception of od, oi 
the same pole with that of the blue rays of the sun, 
and the point of the crystal and the north pole of the 
magnet. In a word, I had the satisfaction of having 
found a new and strong source of od in sound. 

Experiments with Friction. 

In July, 1844, I tried an experiment with friction. 
I placed in the left hand of Maria Maix one end of a 
copper wire, the other end being fastened into a little 
board. When I rubbed this board with another like 
it, a sensation of warmth was felt by Miss Maix's 
hand. If I rubbed the wire on a grindstone, the whole 
wire glowed with od, and was covered with a blaze, 
and from its turned-up end a flame, like that of a 
candle, arose. As a counterproof, I put one end of the 
glass tube of a barometer in a tumbler of water, and 
held the other end on a swiftly revolving little whet- 
stone. The tube and the water became all aglow. 
Sensitives testing the water found it lukewarm, bit- 
terish and nauseating, and one lady whom I persuaded 
to drink the contents of a full glass, was soon after- 
wards taken with violent and repeated iits of vomit- 
ing. A lively development of od by friction was thus 
placed beyond doubt. 

This led, in its application, to an event from which 
I promise myself that you will derive pleasure. I 
wished to know whether the rub bin £ of fluids could 
also betray od. In fact, closed bottles containing 
alcohol, ether, acetic acid, turpentine, and kreosote, 
were all filled with light when they were shaken in the 
dark. Water, shaken in the same way, also glowed, 
and caused a lukewarm disagreeable sensation in the 
left hand : and when it was again at rest it became 
invisible m a lew seconds, and by the re-action was 


cooling. Then a singular idea occured to me ; do not 
be frightened, it was nothing more nor less than the 
much abused divining rod. The water-hunters, the 
spring-finders arose in my memory. How, thought I, 
if the shaking of water sets od in motion, could not 
its flow have the effect ? To try this, I wrapped a glass 
tube in paper, placed it in the left hands of. various 
sensitives, and poured into it from a glass bottle and 
through a glass funnel a continuous stream of water. 
All the sensitives found that a sensation of warmth 
came to them through the paper, so long as the water 
ran, and whenever I stopped the water a cool' sensa- 
tion followed. If the experiment was tried in the 
dark, the water in the funnel and through the whole 
length of the tube was full of light. There was no 
room to doubt that the simple flowing of water through 
a tube developed od; but my hopes increased. I now 
took Miss Zinkel, a demi-sensitive, out into the park 
which surrounds my country home. I knew the di- 
rection of a water pipe which was under a large wooded 
meadow, but is not perceptible on the surface of the 
ground. I let her go slowly across the meadow, so 
that she would cross the course of the water pipe. 
When she came near it, I saw her hesitate, stop, turn, 
go backwards and go forwards, and then stand still. 
Here, she said, she felt up to her knees, particularly 
in her left foot, a lukewarm disagreeable sensation, 
such as she had not felt in any other part of the mea- 
dow. She stood, in fact, immediately over the pipe, 
through which a brook ran for half a mile to the farm. 
I repeated the experiment with several other sensi- 
tives, and obtained the same result invariably ; and 
see the divining rod rises from the deep disgrace into 
which it has been cast by ignorance and undeserved 
ridicule ! Not the rod as such — that may well have 
been a mere cloak, in which the truth lay hidden, 
unable to obtain recognition. And now ! The moving 


of the divining rod is nothing more than the influence 
of the od developed by the running water and felt by 
the sensitive. 

Sourcier the famous Water-Finder. 

Monsieur Sourcier, in France, the celebrated water- 
finder, who was sent for from afar, and who was 
wonderfully successful in finding underground waters, 
is surely nothing more than a high sensitive ; when- 
ever lie steps over a subterranean current, he feels its 
odic influence in his excitable body ; and by the acute- 
ness of his sensation he can draw an inference in 
regard to the depth of the fluid from the surface ; and 
by practice he has acquired the skill which has gained 
for him the wonder and gratitude of half the French 
world. His secret, which was a mystery to himself, 
and which he could not explain, is now exposed, and 
probably we shall soon have in Germany hundreds of 
successful water- finders, both men and women, all 
higdi sensitives. The divining rod is now the com- 
mon property of all the world. 



The Sensitive gets cold before a Fire. 

It is self-evident that such powerful agents as heat 
and electricity must bear an important relationship to 
od. But the complication of facts is so great that I 
must confine myself to a few to bring them within 
the narrow limits of these letters of abbreviations. Let 
a high sensitive sit a few steps off from a wood fire, 
or throw some pieces of potassium on water, or burn 
some alcohol in a dish, or place a chafing dish full of 


live coals before him, and ask him what sensation he 
feels, of course you will expect him to say, i; warmth. " 
Both you and he will be astonished when he says 
that coolness is the predominating sensation which all 
these fires causes him to feel. Put one end of a cane 
of light wood in his left hand, and set fire to the other 
end ; he will perceive that the stick becomes cold in 
his hand as it burns. Let him hold an iron rod, a 
glass wand, or a porcelain tube over the chimney of 
an argand lamp, and he will tell you, while shaking 
his head, that they all grow cold. The explanation 
of this anomaly in the laws of caloric is that in heat- 
ing as in burning, od is developed. Lead a wire of 
any metal about an eighth of an inch thick into the 
dark chamber, leaving one end outside. Heat the 
outer end in a charing dish. When it begins to grow 
warm in the fire, your sensitive sees a little flame 
arise from the end in the dark chamber. 

Experiments with Electricity. 

Without dwelling longer on this point of the sub- 
ject, I shall hasten to electricity, but only to dispatch 
it in a few lines. The predominating sensation which 
all sensitives feel when they are led near to large 
bodies, positively electric, is coolness. But the rub- 
bing of an electric substance causes lukewarmness, 
while fur exhales coolness. Strike a cake of rosin 
briskly with the tail of a fox, in the dark, and the 
sensitive will see a flame about a foot and a half high 
arise from it. The tail will resemble a white glowing 
roller. The flame on the cake will disappear in the 
course of a few minutes. But so Ions; as it flickers 
it will give out a phosphorescent smoke, which will 
rise to the ceiling, and flatten out against it, like what 
you already know of crystals and magnets. I have 
a large electric machine. When it is still, demi-sen- 


sitives usually see nothing of it in the dark; when 
the plate is set to revolving, though no electric light 
be visible, yet the whole machine becomes phosphor- 
escent with odic light. Some of the sensitives com- 
pared it to a laden lime wagon, as having a similar 
white appearance. A charged Ley den jar was full of 
light. When a Levden iar was discharged through 
a wire, the latter became luminous for four or five 
minutes. At the moment of the discharge the sensi- 
tives saw a bright light passing lightning-like along 

o or o O o i o 

the wire, and they minutely described its direction, 
which was from the inner to the outer coat. In regard 
to the voltaic pile I shall here mention only that the 
united wire of the two poles becomes not only glowing 
bright, but is surrounded by a snow-like light which 
rushes swiftly round it. It is reasonable to suppose 
these tacts alone would suffice to excite a lively inter- 
est among scientific men in regard to od. Ampere's 
Screw, of the voltaic pile, which they have inferred 
by an infinite exertion of learned talent is now shown 
to be perceptible to every sensitive child, which can 
see it and describe it with all its details. And finally, 
beyond doubt, sensitive natural philosophers will be 
found as I have found at least a dozen sensitive pli \ - 
sicians. But how long it may be before the interest 
of natural philosophers will set itselt in motion is more 
than I know. 

A annth and electricity are then powerful sources 
of od, but I must deny myself the privilege of dis- 
playing here the wealth of phenomena which they 
offer. (Some details on these points will be found in 
Reichenbach's Dynamic* of Magnetism.) In their 
place, 1 will lead you to some of the last and most 
important of the sources of od. 


The Odic Lights and Colors of Metals. 

Herr Anschuetz, now captain in the Austrian army, 
a good demi-sensitive, lay sick in Baden, and during 
his illness his sensitiveness increased greatly. While 
lying sleepless on his bed it occurred to him that when- 
ever the nights were very dark, he could see the lock, 
hinges and bolts on his door, though everv thing else 
in the room was invisible. He saw that their light 
appeared to come from within rather than from with- 
out. Others, tut only high sensitives, saw light 
coming from all metallic furnishings, all keys, all 
gilded objects in their rooms, every nail on the wall. 
I placed a specimen card of many metals before many 
high sensitives, who saw them all in the dark, some 
brighter, others darker. A glass case full of silver 
plate gradually grew to be full of fine fire. Coal, sele- 
nium, iodine and sulphur were all found to be lumi- 
nous. The light was a phosphorescent glow, as though 
they were translucent : the sensitives could see into 
them. Besides the glow, the sensitives saw above 
these substances, flame-like emanations, losing them- 
selves in smoke, such as we have seen about other 
concentrated emissions of od ; and in the former as 
well as in the latter cases, these flames could be made 
to nicker and be blown away by the breath, and they 
in many cases, throw light on the fingers, in which 
the objects were held. The colors of different sub- 
stances varied greatly, and this variation gave a good 
test of the correctness of the statements of the sensi- 
tives. Everything of copper was glowing red, sur- 
rounded by a green flame; tin, lead, palladium and 
cobalt blue; bismuth, zinc, osmium, titanium, and 
sodium red ; silver, gold, platina, antimony and cad- 
mium white ; nickel and chrome yellowish green ; iron 
variegated, with the colors of the rainbow ; arsenic, 
coal, iodine and selenium red, and sulphur blue. The 



blueness of the sulphur was often seen by demi-sen- 
sitives. Even compound substances were luminous, 
some of them remarkably so. For instance the obro- 
mine was white, paraban acid beautifully blue, cal- 
cined lime red. I placed several hundred chemical 
preparations in a portable collection, kept it in the 
dark, and opened it only in the darkness of the dark 
chamber. Demi-sensitives saw only some of them ; 
to high sensitives they were all luminous. Even the 
stone walls of the dark chamber, after the high sensi- 
tives had been shut up in it for some time, began to 
be visible with a faint light ; and this went so far 
that at last my sensitives could see every thing in 
the room as at the breaking of dawn ; yes they took 
me, myself being perfectly blind with the darkness, 
and led me securely about among my apparatus. 

Od Pervades the whole Universe. 

Everything then is luminous with od ; everything, 
everything ! We are in a world full of phosphorescent 
matter. Porous bodies are the least luminous, such 
as cotton and woolen cloths, wood and clay ; all 
stoves give out light ; among the inorganic bodies, 
metals and the simple elements generally are the most 
luminous. This source of light from everything that 
exists is weaker than all heretofore mentioned, but on 
the other hand it is infinite in extent. 

And this light is odic. It is, because it lias all the 
characteristics of od, and causes the same sensations. 
Place a piece of any metal, some sulphur, iodine, coal 
or graphite, on a little board of linden-wood, and let a 
high sensitive hold his hollow left hand over and near 
it, and he will feel a cool or lukewarm sensation, 
pleasant or unpleasant, from every one of them, the 
sensations being strong in proportion as the light is 
bright. Or, give to a sensitive a variety of substances, 
one after another, solid or liquid, open or hermetically 


sealed in glass, in his bare or gloved hand, and he 
will feel a peculiar sensation from every one, particu- 
larly from sulphur, bromine, bi-chlomate of potash, 
oxygen gas, arsenic, quicksilver, and copper. He 
can, by his feeling, distinguish and classify every sub- 
stance by its odic character. 

Thus, we arrive at the deduction that concentrated 
od flows not only from a few sources, but is a univer- 
sal force of nature, unequally distributed, but. pervad- 
ing everything, like heat, electricity, affinity, and 
gravity, are. It fills the largest, as well as the 
smallest, bodies in the universe. 


Disagreeable Effects of Mirrors and Pewter 

Do you remember my remark that some most beau- 
tiful women shun the mirror? In my last letter you 
will have found the explanation of tins. Quicksilver 
is one of those metals which re-act most disagreeably 
lukewarm on sensitive persons. When such a person 
approaches a large looking-glass, he feels the painful 
quicksilver influence poured out all over him ; he feels 
as though a lukewarm, nauseating breath were blow- 
ing on him ; he feels himself driven away, and, if he 
binds defiance to the pressure, he feels pain in the 
stomach, headache and a disposition to vomit ; he 
must go away. This goes so far, with the increase 
of experience, that high-sensitives shudder at the sight 
of a lookingglass, and turn its face to the wall, if they 
cannot ^et rid of it otherwise. 


Leu us now consider the nausea caused by spoons 
of pewter and imitations of* silver. Copper, which is 
the main element in these compounds, is a strong odic 
body, and exercises a very lukewarm and disagreeable 
influence. It may be covered as deep as you please 
with silver plating, the odic influence of the copper 
will still predominate, will be intolerable even to demi- 
sensitives, and will cause pain in the stomach, cramps 
of the tongue and lockjaw. Often enough have I 
heard from sensitive women that they could not carry 
any jewelry because it was painful to them; that they 
could not wear a metallic thimble, but must have one 
of ivory ; that they could not wear steel corset- 
springs ; that they could not wear a steel-cornb ; yes, 
that they could even bear to wear hair-pins ; and all 
this was caused by odic action. 

The Theory of Treasure-Seekers. 

For sensitive girls, who are employed in household 
service, brass mortars, copper kettles, and particularly 
smoothing-irons, are objects of aversion. The esteemed 
factory-owner, in Azgersdorf, near Vienna, Mr. J. 
Fichtner, a good demi-sensitive, has had all brass 
pots and pans removed from his kitchen; it was in- 
tolerable for him to eat or drink anything cooked in 
brass. If a piece of metal be placed under paper, 
high sensitives can detect the place by moving the 
hollow of their hand over the paper, and taking care 
to notice the odic sensations. Do you not now ti ink, 
involuntarily of the ninth leticr, in which I spoke 
about the running of water and Monsieur Sourcier? 
If a quantity of gold, or some other metal, were buried 
in the earth near the surface, a high .sensitive would 
detect its presence more readily than my demi-sensi- 
tives found the water- pipes in the park. Suppose, 
now, that there were a vein of lead, copper ore, or red 
6ilver ore, not far below the surface, as they are often 


found, if a high sensitive were to walk over them, with 
attention, he would feel them and be able to tell their 
position. Stone-coal exercises an odic influence dif- 
ferent from those of sandstone and slate, in which it 
is found. If the sensitive has paid attention, before- 
hand, to the sensations which coal causes, he will 
readily recognize them, when he approaches a vein of 
coal. Non-sensitive men will not be able to feel any- 
thing, but the high sensitive will be able to say, with 
certainty, " Here or there, this or that mineral may 
be found in the earth," and, by digging, proof will be 
found of the correctness of the assertion, which appears 
so much the more wonderful from the fact that the 
treasure-finder can give no satisfactory explanation of 
the manner in which he made his discoveries. The 
marvel is now exposed : it is a purely physical effect 
of the odic force on the human nerves ; it works like 
a dark sense, of which we can give no explanation ; 
and a multitude of instinctive actions, among brutes, 
will find their explanations in the same way. And 
now, my friend, you have the whole secret of the di- 
vining rod ; not of the rod in its literal sense, and of 
its rising, falling and turning ; these were only the 
hocus-pocus for the inquisitive crowd, who would not 
be satisfied until they could see something. 

Importance of Gd in Mining". 

You perceive from this, how great the practical im- 
portance of sensitiveness, and what a career it is des- 
tined to have. These sensitives, with the cataleptics, 
lunatics and somnambulists, will soon be sought, 
bought, and counted, as the benefactors of their neighr 
boihoods and countries. To mining, this discovery 
promises an extraordinary development, and this not 
only by the discovery of new beds of ore, but also for 
the running of their shafts underground, when the 
stratum eludes the miner, when the veins break, when 


the leads are lost. Whither shall the miner turn to 
make new drifts ? Shall the broken vein be sought 
above or below? The most thorough mining knowl- 
edge often leaves the miner without a clue in such 
cases ; but, in many of them, the practised sensitive 
would, in a few minutes, find the proper place to dig. 

Sensitiveness Susceptible of Cultivation. 

The sensitive perception is susceptible of an extra- 
ordinary cultivation. When I get new subjects, their 
statements are exceedingly wavering at first. After 
two or three sittings, everything gains clearness and 
definiteness; longer experience with these sensitives 
gives preciseness and readiness to their perception, 
and I have demi-sensitives who, by a practice of six 
or seven years, have attained an acuteness of percep- 
tion often superior to that of the inexperienced high 
sensitives. Such persons will hereafter be of much 
value to detect the debasement of metals. A high 
sensitive can easily distinguish pure gold or silver 
from that alloyed with copper. These persons can 
be educated so as to distinguish adulterations and 
mixtures, and to know, for instance, whether a medi- 
cine has lost its active principle by exposure. Yes, 
I shall probably hereafter explain to you what sur- 
prising discoveries high sensitives can make by merely 
touching the bodies of the sick. 


Dischargibility of Od. 

You know, now, the most important sources of Od, 
at least, so far as I have been able to discover them. 


Crystals, the sun, moon, magnets, plants, men, beasts, 
chemical action, fermentation, putrefaction, sound, 
friction, the motion of water, heat, electricity, and, 
finally, the whole material world — all cause these 
wonderful perceptible and visible phenomena, not at- 
tributable to any force heretofore known, but possess- 
ing a common character, which marks them as belong- 
ing to the same class^ and entitles them to a special 
place in the domain of physics. We shall now con- 
sider some of the properties of the principle which lies 
at the foundation of these phenomena. 

The first property which attracts attention in od is 
its dischargibility. [I am compelled to coin this last 
word, Translator.'] A body which is hot or electric 
discharges its heat or electricity on others near it, 
because those forces are conductible. In this respect 
od is like them. You have seen that a glass of water 
held at the pole of a magnet or crystal, or touched by 
a glass wand while the latter is being rubbed, or ex- 
posed to the sun's or moon's rays, or placed in the red 
or blue rays of the prism, assumed odic qualities. You 
might have used any other substance in the place of 
the water. Take a bit of wood, a skein of yarn, a 
watch, a porcelain saucer, a little stone, a piece of 
sugar, or anything that may come in your way ; let a 
sensitive hand hold it and try it, and then give it to 
him again after having exposed it for a few minutes to 
some od-emitting pole, and he will find that it has 
changed ; he will say that it is either warmer or 
colder. And observe, too, that the change will ex- 
actly correspond to the sensation which he would have 
received directly from the od-emitting pole ; the odiried 
(geodet) substance will have the same polar condition 
with the odifier, and not the opposite condition, as is 
the rule with magnetism. Nothing more then has taken 
place than that the od-emitting pole has communi- 
cated toother indifferent bodies within its influence, 


the same odic condition with which it was itself over- 
flowing. This is communication which is to be care- 
fully distinguished from induction. The former is 
odic effect ; the latter is a peculiar magnetic influence 
on other bodies. All the various tumblers of water, 
which you have exposed to different generators of od 
were laden with od, odified, and the change which 
took place in it must be considered analogous with 
that which takes place in a glass of water when it is 
warmed or cooled: it is the same water: nothing 
tangible has been added to it : it is a dynamic change 
which is perceptible to the sense of taste. 

You can prove this with the odic light. Lead a 
copper wire from the daylight into the dark chamber; 
then consecutively touch the end outside with a strong 
crystal pole, or magnet, rub it with a file, stick it in 
a glass of effervescing soda water, hold it over a coal- 
fire, and discharge an electrical machine through it, 
and in all these cases your sensitive will see a smoking 
little flame with sparks issuing from the wire so long 
as the od-einitter is held at the other end. The od 
discharged upon the wire will give it a brighter light, 
and will visibly stream out and lose itself in the air. 

Od discharged with the Breath. 

In like manner there is a constant streaming out of 
od from your fingers, from your toes, from all parts 
of your body; and this is a discharging of od upon 
the air. One of the strongest discharges of this kind 
is constantly going on through the breath of all living 
creatures, it is known that there is a lively chemical 
aclion in the lungs; and od, according to Its rule, is 
developed, discharges itself upon the air in the living 
chambers, and is then exhaled. Mrs. Cecilia Bauer, 
the strong, healthy, and yet highly sensitive wife of 
an inn-keeper in Vienna, told me with some anxiety, 


that when she awoke in the perfectly dark night, she 
always saw her husband and child lying at her side, 
both luminous, and from their mouths ascended at 
every exhalation a cloud of luminous vapor. That 
was the od-laden breath, which nearly all sensitives 
see in the dark, issuing from their mouths like tobacco 

Think yourself back now to ray first letter, in the 
full omnibus of the railway car, where a sensitive is 
crowded in among others, to his great discomfort from 
the reaction of like-named od. But now the air in 
the close apartment is soon laden and overladen with 
od from so many human bodies and breathings of so 
many lungs ; and the sensitive can not draw a breath 
without inhaling as much od as it is absolutely neces- 
sary for him to exhale ; and fancy his torture when he 
is forbidden to open a window. He is in agony and 
others about him think his pain is all imaginary. 
Hereafter you will not deny him your sympathy and 
your aid. It will aso be clear to you why a high 
sensitive cannot bear to stay in crowded rooms, parti- 
cularly if the ceiling be low. The air is overloaded 
with od ; he feels warm and uncomfortable, and if he 
cannot escape he becomes ill-humored and crabbed. 
The longer he must remain, the more ill he feels. 

So it goes too with the sensitive in bed. His od- 
emanations charge the pillows, covers and matrasses, 
and then he becomes uncomfortable and uneasy. They 
twist about, and turn round and keep moving until 
they get their covers off, and then they begin to be 

A highly sensitive is always restless, a bad bed 
fellow, and from his constitution cannot be other- 
wise. His clothing is always loaded with od from that 
part of his body which they cover : and the conse- 
quence is a lukewarm disagreeable feeling. The sen- 
sitive therefore is always uncomfortable while at rest, 


and only while moving about does he feel relieved by 
the removal of the od. For that reason he wears 
little clothing. He feels a continuous impulse to 
change his position and occupation. 

Conductibility of Od. 

Od may not only be discharged on all other bodies 
but may be conducted from one to another by a con- 
ducting medium. We had a proof of that when your 
sensitive held the wand in the sunshine. The od of 
the sun's rays poured through the wand into his hand, 
fastening a piece of wood on the end of a metallic 
rod, put a wax candle on the end of the rod, 
and tie a silk thread over the end of the wax. Let 
your sensitive handle this composite stick of wood, 
metal and wax for a few minutes and after he has 
accustomed himself to it, let him hold the wooden end 
in his left hand and do you take the silk thread in 
your right hand, after a few seconds you will hear 
that the stick is cool ; now take the thread in your 
left hand and he will feel a warmish disagreeable sen- 
sation. Put the thread on a crystal-pole, in the pris- 
matic rays, in moonshine, in a tumbler of effervescing 
soda water, in sulphur ; in every case you will trace 
the sensations corresponding to the source of the od. 
You may make conducting rods of sulphur, glass, silk, 
pitch, guttapercha, or any idio-electric body ; every 
one will be as good an od-conductor as metal. There 
is no insulator for this force, and therein lies the diffi- 
culty which it presents to every examination. 

But it is not necessary that the conducting rod, the 
end of which is held by the sensitive, should touch 
the body from which the od emanates : proximity is 
sufficient. Let the sensitive hold a glass wand in his 
hand, and you point ycur lingers at the other end of 
the wand near it but without touching it. You will 
soon hear that the sensation in his hand is just the 


same as when you held the thread but weaker. Put 
a crystal pole, a cat's-paw, a piece of sulphur, a bit 
of bichromate of lime hermetically sealed in glass, or 
a bottle of fermenting wine-juice, in front of the wand, 
and in every case the sensitive hand will feel a sensa- 
tion corresponding to the odic nature of the substance. 
This harmonizes with the luminous emanations from 
all these bodies. Good conductors, such as metals, 
glass, silk, are luminous when charged, and are sur- 
rounded by a halo of light, whether the od is commu- 
nicated to them by touch or by mere proximity. 


Dual Opposition Throughout Nature. 

Wherever you glance at nature you see dual oppo- 
sitions, and they are found also in the field to which 
we are now giving our attention. You have already 
observed some of them in crystals, and magnets, in 
both halves of men and beasts, with a reddish yellow 
od-light with a lukewarm disagreeable sensation on 
one side, and a bluish light witii a coolish sensation 
on the other. This opposition appears in innumerable 
forms in the odic phenomena, and belongs to its in- 
nermost essence. 

The Od-Chemical Order. 

Let us begin with the chemically simple elements. 
Place a little bottle of potassium in the left hand of 
your sensitive, and afterwards another containing flow- 
ers of sulphur. You will soon hear the declaration 
that the former gave him a lukewarm disagreeable 
sensation, and the latter a cool and pleasant one. Do 
the same with sodium, gold, platina, quick-silver, and 
copper on one side, and selenium, iodine, phosphorus, 


tellurium, and arsenic on the other ; and of the for- 
mer class you will hear that they are lukewarm, and 
of the latter that they are cool, some stronger, some 
weaker. And you can use this gradual difference in 
odic power to put these substances in a row, with 
potassium at one end as the most lukewarm disagree- 
able, and oxygen at the other end as the coolest ; and 
if you examine this row critically, you will find with 
astonishment that with slight deviations, it is the 
same gradation discovered by chemists as showing 
the strength of affinity which various substances have 
for oxygen, and which is called the electro-chemical 
order. By an entirely different road we have arrived 
at the same result, to one which we must call the od- 
chemical order. It is not in the highest degree sur- 
prising that an ignorant, simple minded girl, by the 
mere touch with her fingers, should be able, within 
an hour to arrange all the simple elements, in an order, 
which cost the greatest minds, and the most learned 
men of our time more than half a century of untiring 
industry and the exertion of all their perspicacity to 
discover ? The great Berzelius, the creator of the 
electro-chemical system felt this keenly when I laid 
proof of the fact before him in Carlsbad ; but since 
his death the surviving chemists have not thought this 
trifle worthy of notice. One physiologist (Du Bois 
Iieymond in Karstens " FovUcHritte der Physik" 
Jahrgang, III p. 40) has even had the courage to 
assert that because Berzelius publicly and emphatically 
defended my investigations, he must be in his dotage; 
as a support to the error of his own opinion, he needed 
only to make the modest assertion that Berzelius had 
lost his wits. 


Odic Polarity of Various Substances. 

In this odic order, the amorphous bodies taken alone, 
show no dual qualities, and each one must be consi- 
dered as unipolar, about as electricians consider soap 
as unipolar ; but all taken together and as such 
considered as the collective unity of all matter, the 
dual opposition appears strongly marked. Lukewarm, 
disagreeable sensations will be felt at one end of the 
row, and cool sensations at the other. There is an 
odic polarity in the material world ; and since the 
substances which are lukewarm in the left hand are 
the electro-positive, and the cool ones electro-negative, 
so in like manner, and as a natural consequence I 
style the former od-positive and the latter od-negative. 

Among compound substances, I found alkalies and 
alkaloids and everything which partakes of their cha- 
racter od-positive ; on the other side the haloid salts, 
most of the oxydes and acids od-negative ; organic 
substances, such as gum, starch, many fattyoils, and 
also p'araffine, were about in the middle between the 
two poles. 

Among crystals I have always found that the butt 
end gave oat a yellowish red light, and a lukewarm 
sensation to the left hand, while the point gave out a 
cool sensation and a blue light. This rule raav be 
followed even to the fibrous crystallizations, and to 
indurations where the crystalline forms are scarcely 
recognizable. The base of the crystal is therefore 
od-positive and the point od-negative. 

The Odic Polarity of Magnetism, Light 
Friction, etc., etc. 

Magnets are lukewarm and red-luminous, and od- 
positive at the pole which turns to the South ; cool, 
blue and od-negative at the north pole. (Some phy- 
sicists [see Liebigs Handworterbuch der C/ie?nie, 
vol. v., p. 34] state that the north pole of the magne- 


tic needle is magneto-positive, without giving their 
reasons ; in consequence of oclic discoveries I must 
doubt the correction of this statement ; od-positive 
and electro-positive go together as we have seen ; 
magneto-positive must keep company with them ; and 
consequently the north pole of the needle which has 
a blue odic light must be magneto-negative.) Heat, 
chemical action and sound have, in the experiments 
hitherto made with them, shown only od-negative 
effects, friction only od-positive. The experiments in 
regard to the odic oppositions must be extended. 
Those rays of polarized sunlight which pass through, 
are od-positive ; those which are thrown back, od-ne- 
gative. In the spectrum, the red flame-yellow and 
yellow rays and those underlined with red are all od- 
positive ; the blue, violet and the chemical rays are 
od-negative. The same remarks are true of the moon- 
spectrum, and it even applies to the weak spectrum 
of the Argand lamps. 

The Odic Polarity of the Animal Frame. 

Animals, particularly men, are od-positive on the 
left side from top to toe ; and negative on the right 
side. The odic poles show themselves most strongly 
in the fingers and toes ; and in these again most 
strongly at the roots of the nails, the spots of the 
most lively organic activity in the whole hand. We 
may then say that man is polarized sidewise ; but he 
also has other but less strongly marked polar axes, 
lengthwise and dcpthwisc, the explanation of which, 
however, in these brief letters I must deny myself. 

Strengthen your conviction of the polarity of the 
human frame by some further easy experiments. Lay 
a sheet of clean blue paper before a sensitive and let 
him look at first witli one eye and then with the 
other, and so alternating three or four times. He will 


find the sight with the left eye agreeable, with the 
right disagreeable. The left eye is od-positive ; the 
blue color as you know is od-negative ; consequently 
the unlike poles met and had a pleasant influence ; in 
the other case, where the right eye looked upon the 
blue, the like poles met and an unpleasant sensation 
followed. Prove this experiment by trying a similar 
one with orange colored paper ; in every case you get 
the same results, but with the eyes reversed. But 
you see too from these delicate experiments that the 
dislike for yellow colors and the preference for blue 
ones among sensitive persons is caused chiefly by 
taking the impression with the left eye, and that the 
influence on this side predominates in the conscious- 
ness over the sensations received through the right 

Having covered your left eye, look with your right 
at a short distance into the left of a sensitive, his right 
being also covered, and he will find it not unpleasant. 
Now look with your left into his left ; he will imme- 
diately become restless, and cannot keep still for half 
a minute ; and if you attempt to compel him he will 
turn away. If he is a high sensitive, a fixed look, 
at you in this position for a short time will affect him 
so strongly, that for some seconds he will not be able 
to see out of that eye : yes, if you compel him to 
persist, it will often happen that he must vomit. The 
look of the left eye at the left is the pairing of like 
poles, and it is intolerable to the sensitive. 

The Od-polar Opposition of the two Sexes. 

May there not be also an odic dualism in the oppo- 
sition of the two sexes ? I put this question to na- 
ture in the following simple experiment. I put a man 
and woman bofore a sensitive lady, and placed a glass 
of water in the hand of each, at the end of six minutes, 


when the water had been changed with negative od, I 
allowed the sensitive to taste the water of both glasses. 
She found both cool, but the water from the hand of 
the man was cooler and more agreeable than that 
from the hand of the woman. I then tried the same 
experiment with a sensitive man. He found the wa- 
ter from the woman's hand the cooler. You see 
clearly that man and woman stand in an od-polar 

You have noticed that in all the experiments of 
feeling I have used the left hand of jour sensitive, 
never the right one. I must now explain the cause 
of this. Coolness and luke-warmness are not abso- 
lute effects of outward irritations but only relative, 
and relating only to one side of the body ; on the 
other side the sensation is reversed. To prevent con- 
fusion in my representations. 1 made all my experi- 
ments refer to one side only, and that the left one, 
because the effects there are stronger and more distinct. 
I might have used the right hand, and the results 
would have been the same only with the opposed lights 
and sensations. 

An Odic Rainbow. 

YOUB heart has often warmed with admiration of 
the splendor of the rainbow in the brilliancy of day. 
1 will undertake to lead you to a rainbow in the dark- 
ness of night. 

( )ur low sensitive perceives at the two ends of a 
crystal in the dark nothing save a gray undefined va- 
por, something dimly visible amidst rayless night. 


A demi-sensitive distinguishes that the light of one 
pole is bluish gray and blue, of the other yellow and 
orange, just like the light of the two hands. A high 
sensitive, finally, sees that these blue and yellow 
colors are not simple, but that other colors, such as 
green, red, orange, violet, shoot through them ; and 
that both the polar flames, carefully examined, have 
a variegated appearance ; though blue is the predo- 
minating; color of one flame and red of the other. 

A sensitive invalid sailor, Frederic Weidlich first 
drew my attention in February 1846 to the fact that 
these colors do not always play restlessly through 
each other, but that they lay in regular layers one 
over another when they are not disturbed by the mo- 
tions of the air. When I inquired for the order of 
their positions, I learned that the lowermost color was 
red darkened by smoke ; above this was flame-yellow, 
then bright yellow, then pale yellow, green-finch co- 
lored yellow, next green changing above into light 
blue, losing itself in smoky vapor, the whole spangled 
with bright little sparks or stars. The statements of 
this man have since then been confirmed to me by 
many other sensitives in a thousand experiments. But 
what is this save the prismatic order of colors ? The 
appearance of an iris in absolute darkness — what a 
wonderful sight ! All the high sensitives described it 
as the most splendid sight, that they had ever seen. 

Experiments with the Light from a Magnet. 

I set a magnetic bar upright, with its south pole 
up ; a reddish tinge pervaded all the rainbow-colors 
which settled over it. I turned the north end up- 
wards, and the vapor-bedimmed iris had a bluish cast. 
The bar was a quarter of an inch in diameter at the 
ends. To reduce the breadth of the ends, I covered 
it with a sharp iron cap ; the emanations of light 


were thinner, more luminous, and larger, but the order 
of the colors remained the same. Instead of the 
single-pointed iron cap, I used one with two points ; 
flames burst now from both, one flame being blue and 
the other yellowish red. Finally, I used a cap with 
four points ; and each point showed a different color ; 
the first had a blue flame, the second a yellow one, 
the third a red one, and the fourth a whitish-gray 
one, all rising vertically upwards, side by side, from 
the four corners of the magnetic bar. In this man- 
ner I succeeded in separating some colors of this enig- 
matic iris from each other, and showing each inde- 
pendent of the rest. 

I turned the bar round on its vertical axis, and 
found that the flames did not turn with it, but kept 
their places, so that the point which at first bore the 
yellow flame, soon had the blue one over it, and so 
with the others. Thus it appeared that the colors 
were not dependent upon the bar, but on something 
else. This significance was soon found out; the points 
of the compass determined the position of the colors. 
The blue light always stood over the northern point; 
the yellow over the western, the red over the southern, 
and the grayish-white over the eastern. I might 
turn the bar with its four points as much as I would, 
the colors still remained stationary, preserving the 
position in regard to the points of the compass. 

Instead of the upright points, I fastened, horizon- 
tally upon the standing magnetic bar, a square plate 
of iron, a foot in diameter. Scarcely had it been 
placed on the bar, when the four corners of the plate 
began to send out horizontal flames, having the same 
colors and positions with those which came from the 
points. When I turned the plate round 45 degrees 
the mixed colors appeared, in the north-west green ; 
in the south-west orange ; in the south-east gray-red ; 
in the north-east violet. 


I now took a circular plate of iron, and placed that 
on the bar. The beaut if ul phenomenon of a circular 
rainbow appeared. The lights streamed out on all 
sides of the plate. In the north all the shades of 
blue were visible, turning into green and all its varie- 
ties in the north-west, yellowish-green near the west, 
yellow, and orange, and red in the south, and gray- 
red, and gray in the east, changing again gradually 
to the blue of the north, except a clearly defined red 
stripe in the north-east. 

Experiments with a Terrel. 

Hereupon I had a hollow iron globe made, so long 
that I could not quite reach round it with both arms, 
and hung it, by a silk string, in the middle of my 
dark chamber. In the inside of it was an upright iron 
bar, wound round with six turns of copper wire, which 
I could connect with a voltaic pile of zinc and silver 
plates, made according to the method of Smee and 
Young. On the outside of the globe nothing of this 
bar was visible. At the moment when I changed the 
bar into an electro-magnet, my sensitives saw the 
swinging ball become luminous with variegated colors. 
Its whole surface glowed with the colors of the rain- 
bow. The globe was blue from pole to pole on the 
nothern side ; green in the north-west ; yellow in the 
west ; orange in the south-west ; red in the south ; 
gray-red in the south-est ; gray in the east, and return- 
ing blue, with red stripes, in the north-east. The 
colors formed perceptible lines side by side, separated 
always by darker lines. The whole ball was sur- 
rounded by a luminous vapor. The upper od-nega- 
tive half had a blueish tinge over its colors ; the lower 
od-positive hemisphere had a predominating reddish 
tinge. At the upper pole, over the north pole of the 
electro-magnet, a blue flame arose, four inches above 
the ball, and then, spreading out like an umbrella, 


streamed down over the sides of the globe, at a dis- 
tance of two or three inches from it. From the lower 
pole, where the south pole of the magnet was, a simi- 
lar flame ascended in red light around the ball. Both 
were divided and lost before reaching the equator. 

It is plain that I had made a terrel, after the man- 
ner of Barlow, a swinging globe, with a north and 
a south pole, provided with the proper magnetic pow- 
ers, and tried by the test of the odic lights. In fact, 
every one must see that the results are, to a surpris- 
ing extent, similar to those of the Aurora Borealis, 
and Aurora Australis, of our planet. They show still 
greater resemblances, on further investigation, than 
there is here room to explain, and they make it 
very probable that the "Northern-Lights" are positive 

Thus we see, that all odic-lights are not of a single 
color, but on close examination, dissolve themselves 
in a regular iris. 

Od and the Cardinal Points. 

If the position of the colors of the odic lights is 
governed by the points of the compass, as you saw 
in my last letter, these must have some further rela- 
tion to od. If a pocket-magnet, by means of its odic 
power, has already influence on these things, it is 
clear that magnetism, which proceeds from such an 
immense generator as the earth, and therefore called 
terrestrial magnetism, must have the greatest influence 
on all the odic phenomena of our sphere. This in- 
fluence is nothing more than the od which appears 
everywhere associated with magnetism, collects about 


the earth's poles, and from them operates upon the 
whole planet. It may be called terrestrial od. 

You saw that that pole of the magnet, which causes 
an odic sensation of coolness in the hand, as electro- 
negative bodies do, turns to the north, when allowed 
to move freely on the compass-box ; we must there- 
fore recognize it as negative, also the odic pole asso- 
ciated with it. And, since the pole of the earth 
which attracts it, must be of an unlike pole, so it 
follows that the north pole of the earth must be od- 
positive, and consequently the south-pole od-negative. 
Hence, we may farther infer that the whole northern 
hemisphere is od-positive, and the entire southern 
hemisphere od-negative. 

Why People Sleep on their Eight Sides. 

We will now make a very plain application of this 
principle to common life. Already in my first letter 
I drew your attention to the fact that all sensitives 
sleep, not on their left, but only on their right sides. 
I venture, with full confidence, to assert that this is 
not the rule in New Holland, Chile, and Buenos 
Ayres, but that in those places the sensitives sleep on 
their left sides. In the vicinity of the equator, it 
will be a matter of indifference to them whether they 
lie on the right or left side. It must be so. The 
northern half of the earth is od-positive, and when 
your sensitive turns his left od-positive side to it, the 
two like poles coming together, an uneasy feeling en- 
sues. When he lies on his right side, the unlike 
poles are presented to each other, and the uneasy 
feeling is followed by a cool and pleasant one. In 
the latter position he can go to sleep forthwith ; in the 
former he cannot go to sleep at all. The reverse 
must be the case in the southern hemisphere. There 
you have deep cause of an apparently very superficial 
matter ; and pathology may take note of it. 


The Odic Polarity of Man Lengthwise. 

In passing I shall refer to a similar and extensive 
subject. For the sake of brevity, I have said nothing 
of the odic nature of the long axis of the human 
body. I have found that man is od-negative about 
the brain, and od-positive about the abdomen. Ad- 
mitting this, for I here omit the proofs of its truth, 
put four chairs in the middle of a room, with the back 
of one to the north, another to the west, a third to 
the south, and the fourth to the east ; and now ask a 
good sensitive if it is a matter of indifference to him 
as to which chair he shall sit upon. After he has 
tried all the chairs, he will tell you that he finds the 
one with its back to the north the most pleasant seat, 
and that with its back to the west the most unplea- 
sant. I shall hasten past the peculiarities of the 
other seats, to invite you to extend your experiment 
with the sensitive to his bed. Let him lie down, and 
then turn his bed successively with the head towards 
the four main points of the compass. He will soon 
tell you that he feels comfortable only when he has 
his head to the north and his feet to ths south. The 
explanation is easy. The upper half of the body, as 
related to the longitudinal axis, is od-negative, while 
the north-pole of the earth is od-positive. When the 
head is turned to the north, the two unlike poles are 
brought together, and there is an agreeable pairing. 
The lower half of the body is od-positive, and makes 
an unlike and agreeable pairing with the south-pole of 
the earth. Every other position in sitting or lying is 
less suitable and causes more or less unpleasant, luke- 
warm, and restless feelings. There are some of my 
sensitives, who, since receiving this teaching from me, 
always take a compass along when travelling, and 
turn the head of their bed to the north, wherever they 
may sleep. I have found high-sensitives entirely 


unable to sleep in any other than the north and south 
position. But also demi-sensitives and even low- 
sensitives — for instance, Herr Delhez, the teacher of 
French in Vienna — are so affected by their position 
in bed that it not only determines their rest at night, 
but their general health. A healthy sensitive should 
always observe that his bed is turned with its head 
towards the north ; and a sick sensitive must, first of 
all things, be brought into this position; without it, 
every other attention and medicine will be almost 

The Cause of Swooning in Church. 

I can now return with you to the church, where I 
left you in my first letter, with those who had swoon- 
ed. In Christian architecture (not in the United 
States) the custom of the heathen nations to erect the 
altar of the eastern side of the church has been gene- 
rally followed, so that tiie nave must come on the 
opposite side. The congregation sit with their faces 
towards the altar and their backs to the west. That 
is, however, as you have seen, the most disagreeable 
position for a sensitive. His od-positive left side is 
then turned to the od-positive north pole of the earth, 
and his od-negative right side to the od-negative south 
pole. Accordingly, he sits under the influence of 
several like pairings, and this he cannot endure. If 
it continues long — through the hours of a church ser- 
vice — and if the sensitiveness is acute, the sensitive 
feels one sensation of discomfort following another, he 
feels warm, restless, stifled, and ill-humored, is at- 
tacked by pain in the stomach, and if he cannot escape 
he finally falls down in a swoon. We see this every 
day in large churches, and the only cause is in the 
unsuitable style of architecture. 

This extends to daily home-life. No chair, no sofa 


should be so placed that the person who sits in it, if 
a sensitive, must turn his back to the west. Yes, 
even in standing, it is intolerable for him to have his 
back to the west. Herr Philippi, Major of the Engi- 
neers Corps, a good demi-sensitive, and an experienced 
sailor, needs no compass when at sea, to tell him where 
the points of the compass lie ; by turning himself 
slowly around he can soon tell by his feelings the 
directions of north and west. Every sensitive seeman 
will readily learn this, and determine the position of 
the pole by the same rule which enables the sensitive 
water-hunter to find streams running underground. 

The Position of Furniture. 

These things reach so far in common life that they 
determine the position of a common article of furni- 
ture, such, for instance, as a piano. A sensitive lady 
often played the piano in my house. But it was un- 
pleasant to her, and she did not understand why she 
always felt unwell while sitting at my piano, which 
was a good instrument. After a little consideration 
it occurred to me that the cause of her discomfort was, 
the piano was so placed that she faced the southern 
ends of the wire with her back to the south. Thus 
she sat before the od-positive pole of so many long 
magnets as there were steel strings stretched towards 
her. She could not bear this ; she would have fainted 
had she remained long in the seat. I turned the 
piano about, so that the lady could sit with her back 
to the north, and with the north poles of the strings 
turned towards her ; and now her position was agree- 
able, and she played with delight. A grand piano 
should always be placed so that the player may sit on 
the eastern or northern side. 

I know a sensitive weaver, who was a steady indus- 
trious man till he changed his dwelling, after which 
he could not confine himself to his seat at the weav- 


ing frame, became dissipated, abandoned his work and 
went to ruin. In his first home, he sat with his back 
to the north ; in the last, with his back to the west ; 
the latter position was unendurable tor him j the odic 
pain, whose cause was unknown to him, but whose 
influence he could noth withstand proved his destruc- 
tion. Thousands of persons who have to earn their 
living by sedentary labor — such as seamstresses, 
copyists, clerks, and painters, — are driven from their 
work by the disagreeable sensations of improper odic 
positions, and become the innocent victims of igno- 
rance of physical laws heretofore unknown. 



The Speed of Odic Conduction. 

You know that od is conducted through bodies but 
you do not know the speed with which it moves. The 
speed of electricity is, as is well known, exceedingly 
great, while that of heat is very slow ; od holds a me- 
dium position between them. I stretched out an 
iron wire one hundred feet long and presented at one 
end successively various generators of od such as 
hands, crystals and magnets. A high sensitive whose 
hand was at the other end of the wire felt the arrival 
of the respective odic emanations after an interval of 
about half a minute. From this you may infer that 
the motion of the od was not more rapid than that of 
a man walking briskly. 

You have seen that discharge and conduction took 
place without any immediate contact with the genera- 
tor of the od but by mere proximity. Whether this 
is by the absorption of the luminous emanations of 


the od-generator or by radiation, we do not yet know. 
We may infer that od spreads itself about in the form 
of rays from the facts that it comes with the sun's 
rays, passes with them through glass prisms, can be 
broken in them and polarized by plates of glass, but 
the inference is not an entirely reliable deduction ; for 
the od found in these experiments may be created by 
the falling of the light rays on the solid bodies. But 
stand in front of a sensitive and make a pass with 
both your hands down over him at a distance of a foot 
and a half; he will feel it very plainly, as though a 
cold breath were breathing over him. Step back one 
pace, and repeat the pass ; he will again feel it but 
weaker than the first one. Step back, two, three, 
four paces further. Your sensitive will feel the passes 
plainly but always more faintly as your distance from 
him increases ; yes, he will even feel them when you 
are at the opposite end of the room. If you go into 
the next room he will still feel your passes from there. 
A demi-sensitive will lose the sensation when you are 
somewhere between forty or sixty feet from him. An 
upward pass will be felt at a greater distance than a 
downward one. But I have had high sensitives who 
felt the influence of my passes at a distance of one 
hundred and fifty feet, which was as far as I could 
go in the direct line of my rooms. They also felt 
poles of crystals and magnets at the same distance, 
and at the moment when those od-generators were 
pointed at them. You perceive from this that the 
odic force has a very wide radiation, whose bounds 
extend, like those of light, to the infinite, consequent- 
ly we always drag about with us at the ends of our 
fingers, toes and other parts of our frames immeasur- 
able sheaves of invisible rays, and besides as natural 
and living beings we are surrounded with a luminous 
atmosphere, which follows us wherever we go. I have 
often heard in the dark chamber that my head was 


surrounded by a crown of rays, that I was clothed in 
a saint's halo. And little is wanting to prove that the 
myth of those haloes was derived directly from the 
odic light, which was seen thousands of years ago in 
the East as it is now seen here. This odic atmos- 
phere which continually generates from, and always 
surrounds every man is not the same with all persons, 
but is different, about as the smells or the choice in 
matters of taste vary, as light may be divided into 
color and sound into the notes of the gamut. The 
odic atmosphere of woman differs from that of a man ; 
that of a child differs from that of an adult ; that of a 
sanguine person differs from that of the bilious ; that 
of a well person from that of a sick man ; yes it dif- 
fers between a man sick with a cold and another sick 
with scarlet fever, and between a typhus and a color 
mordax* and all these differences are recognized and 
decided by high sensitives and sometimes by demi- 
sensitives. In this fact you find the first explanation 
of such possibilities as that sick persons, in a condi- 
tion of extreme sensitiveness may perceive the ap- 
proach of their physician when well persons cannot 
perceive anything to indicate the approach of any per- 
son : that such sick persons have at the first meeting 
with certain individuals an aversion as unconquerable, 
as for others they have a groundless preference ; that 
carnivorous animals recognize a mark on a lily where 
their prey has placed a foot while fleeing ; and other 
similar facts which appear wonderful, but appear so 
only so long as man is ignorant of the physical thread 
which connects them simply and regularly with the 
world of matter. But an exposition of these higher 
odic relations would require me to overstep the bounds 
prefixed for the extent of these letters. I therefore 
take leave of you here. 


Etymology of Od. 

You know the main phenomena of that which I 
have called od. It is a force analogous and nearly 
related to the other forces already known to science. 
It includes a group of natural events ( Vorgaenge) im- 
probable but perceptible to the senses, for which we 
have no measure or agent save the human senses, and 
even these only under peculiar circumstances of the 
sensitive impressibility. The reason why it has 
hitherto escaped scientific investigation, and has even 
been directly and stubbornly repelled and excluded by 
science lies in the want of a universal odoscope or odo- 
meter, which might be placed within the reach of every 
one and whereby its existence might easily be denomi- 
nated before the eyes of all the world. And again the 
reason why no odoscope has yet been discoverable 
springs from the nature of od itself, because of its 
power to pervade all things and all space, without ac- 
cumulating in any place sufficiently to become percep- 
tible to mankind generally. There are insulators for 
heat, electricity and light, but I have been unable to 
rind any for od. This want of confinability, I have 
thought proper to use as a hint for a name which might be 
suitable for the varied combinations of scientific nomen- 
clature. Va in sanserif means to blow. In Latin Vado, 
in old norse Vada means I go quickly, I hasten away, 
I flow. From that Wodan in old German means the 
all pervading; it changes in various dialects to Wuo- 
dan, Odin, signifying the all-pervading power which 
is finally personified in a German deity. " Od " is 
consequently the name for a force which with irresist- 
ible power rushes through and pervades universal 

Had Nature but given us Sense for Od- 

If nature had given us a sense for od as clear and 
distinct as for light and sound, we should have stood 


on a higher level of knowledge ; we should distin- 
guish truth and deception by means of its all-pervad- 
ingness with incomparably greater care and quickness 
and certainty ; we should read each others hearts. 
Talleyrand could not have used speech to conceal his 
thoughts ; and as a remote consequence we should 
have been beings of a higher and nobler kind. It might 
easily be shown that with a sense to perceive od we 
should be a species of angel, and that our endowment 
with sucli a capability would be sufficient to elevate 
us at once to a higher state of morality even if our 
understandings were not enlarged Omniscience, which 
intended that we should be only erring men had there- 
fore to deny us a faculty which would have made us 
the peers of the demi-gods. 


We have thus gone through the O die- Magnetic 
Letters, a brief, popular exposition of a theory, the 
full record of whose evidences in the Sensitive Man 
and his Relation to Od (Der Sensitive Mensch und 
sein Yerhalten zum Ode) occupies twenty times as 
much space. Though we have not heard all that can 
be said in favor of od, we have heard enough to satisfy 
us that there is a strong probability in favor of the 
correctness of Reichenbach's theory; and we may spec- 
ulate a little about its place in nature alongside of 
the other great physical forces. 

Force is that which causes or resists action or mo- 
tion. Some of the great forces of nature, exclusive 
of Reichenbach's discovery, are electricity, heat, che- 
mical action, light, and magnetism. These forces, 
once called "imponderable substances," are now 
generally looked upon, by scientific men, as peculiar 


movements or agitations of matter, and not as them- 
selves material. They are all supposed to be capable 
of reciprocally producing each ether, and to be but 
different manifestations of one universal force which 
pervades the universe and is inherent in every particle 
of matter. 

Science knows only matter and force. Each is 
indestructible, though capable of taking many different 
forms? There is no more nor no less matter now than 
there was five thousand years ago ; there is no more 
and no less force. "Wave your hand," says Grove; 
the motion has, apparently, ceased, but it is taken up 
by the air, from the air by the walls of the room, and 
so by direct and re-acting waves continually com- 
municated, but never destroyed." Let us suppose 
that two balls rolling towards each other strike ; the 
motion appears to be lost, but it changes to heat and 
electricity ; to heat if the balls be homogeneous and 
electricity if heterogeneous. If the balls be greased 
so that they will glance from each other, they will lose 
little motion and create little heat, precisely in pro- 
portion to the loss of one force is the development of 
others. And the motion or friction of the electrical 
machine develops electricity, electricity produces 
magnetism, light, heat, and motion, and influences 
chemical affinity as is seen in the composition and 
decomposition of compound substances. Heat pro- 
duces motion, and our thermometres are constructed 
to measure heat by the expansion or motion which it 
causes in certain substances. Heat also develops 
electricity. An evidence of this may be obtained by 
heating bars of bismuth and antimony, the ends of 
which are in contact. Unite the other ends by an 
iron wire, and an electric current will pass over it and 
heat the wire. The relationship of light to heat is 
very near, and they closely resemble each other in 
their phenomena. Both are radiated in direct lines, 


reflected, refracted, doubly refracted and polarized. 
Heat also influences chemical affinity. 

Light influences chemical action, which latter de- 
velops electricity, and that, magnetism, heat, and 
motion. A coil of wire attached to a daguerreotype 
plate, becomes electric when the plate is exposed to 
the light. Pieces of cloth, of different colors, sink 
with different speed into snow, showing that the light, 
when absorbed by black cloths, changes into heat, 
and therefore these cloths sink more rapidly into the 

As electricity, moving round an iron bar, develops 
magnetism, so revolving magnets develop electricity, 
and we have magneto-electricity as well as electro- 
magnetism. Since electricity causes light, heat, mo- 
tion, and chemical affinity, magnetism may be consid- 
ered to cause them. Magnets directly cause and re- 
sist motion ; and whenever iron is magnetised or de- 
magnetised, heat is developed. 

Chemism, the power which causes chemical action 
by means of chemical affinity, causes motion, electri- 
city, heat and light. All these effects are seen in the 
chemical process of burning ; one of our strongest 
sources of electricity is in chemical action ; and in the 
Voltaic-pile and galvanic battery, the amount of elec- 
tricity evolved is in exact proportion to the amount 
of chemical action ; in the same way as the heat and 
electricity caused by friction are in exact proportion 
to the amount of the friction and to the loss of me- 
chanical force.* 

It is supposed that the vital forces are also connect- 
ed with the physical forces of inanimate nature. All 
the substances found in the animal are also found in 
the mineral kingdom. Light and heat are necessary 
conditions to animation. The animal frame is formed 

* See the Correlation of Physical Forces by W. R. Grove. 


by chemical action, and is kept alive by it. Life is 
a species of combustion, and it needs fresh air just 
as fire does, and would die as soon as a flame, if con* 
fined in its own smoke. Chemical affinities are con- 
stantly at work in our stomachs. Vitality implies 
motion. Electricity is constantly in action in our 
nerves and muscles. Animal life may therefore be 
classed among the great correlated forces of nature. 

It is among these forces that od comes now and 
claims its place. Reichenbach has placed it before 
us. He has described many of its conditions and 
qualities, and shows some of its relations to the other 
forces. He has found it developed by the chemical 
life of crystallization ; by the sunlight, by magnetism, 
animal and vegetable life, chemical action, friction and 
electricity. If his theory be true, we have not only 
the key to some of the most wonderful and hitherto 
inexplicable phenomena of our existence, but we have 
also a new and probably the most important form of 
the universal force, a discovery from which we may 
hope results of the utmost benefit to the moral, intel- 
lectual, and physical welfare and progress of our race 
in coming years. 


SEAU. Newly Translated, without Omissions or 
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the beautiful half of humanity, dull company, in con- 
sequence of not properly alternating the grave and 
weighty with the gay and light. To indulge in fun, 
frolic and merriment, is beneath their dignity. And 
so their dignity mopes through the world, disgusting 
it with wisdom, and sometimes horrifying it with the 
any thing but dignified maniac's yell. 

To correct this evil, I publish, along with works 
which exercise the intellect to its utmost, books, the 
tendency of which, is effectually to relieve the intel- 
lectual, by bringing into corresponding active ex- 
ercise the humourous, gay and mirthful faculties. 

If the mystic claims that — 

" Religion never was designed 
To make our pleasures less " — 

the positivist cannot rationally claim less for deep, 
independent thinking. 

As to the pious libel, that licentiousness is an ac- 
companiment of free thinking, it is beneath my dig- 
nity to pay any regard to it ; and to be frightened 
by it, out of the least particle of fun, or natural, 
and therefore rightful enjoyment, exceeds my cow- 








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